Nintendo has, finally, unveiled Animal Crossing Mobile during a Nintendo Direct stream dedicated to the game. It will be called Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and the official release date is currently sometime in late November. As originally announced, the game will be free with in-app purchases. Players can pre-register for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on Google Play now (link at the bottom the article).
Some quick bullet points:
- This is not a traditional Animal Crossing game. In Pocket Camp, players build a camp site that can attract new animal friends.
- Players will need to complete tasks for the game’s different characters in order to receive new crafting materials and raise their friendship level
- There will be timers. An apple tree had a cooldown timer of 3 hours, building a pool had a cooldown time of 72(!!!) hours.
- There will be a premium currency (Leaf Tickets) to go along with the basic currency (Bells). Leaf Tickets can be used to make up for material shortfalls when crafting, to eliminate crafting timers, and to use premium gathering tools such as a net that catches large amounts of fish
- Players will be able to customize their camper, campsite, and characters.
- In game shops will rotate their stock
- You will be able to visit the camp sites of your friends, as well as people who you occasionally run into on your journeys.
- Pocket Camp will not be playable offline
- There will be 299 different pieces of furniture, 163 pieces of clothing, and 13 ameneties to craft and collect.
- More items and seasonal events will be added over time
For more detailed information, check out an updated post with some of the latest information on Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
Animal Crossing is perhaps the Nintendo franchise that is best suited for mobile. It has never been graphically demanding, gameplay has always been fairly simple, it rewarded players for playing the game regularly, and had lots of different items to collect. These are all hallmarks of modern free to play games, and they were all already a part of Animal Crossing. The huge number of decorations, furniture, etc. to collect also means that monetizing the game can be simple and not fundamentally change the game.
A mobile version of Animal Crossing was originally announced alongside Fire Emblem Heroes in April of 2016, with a launch window of fall 2016. It was later delayed to early 2017, and eventually delayed again. This time, in an interview with Waypoint, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime had promised that the game would be released before the end of 2017. Some were expecting the game to be shown off at Apple’s iPhone event on September 12th, 2017, but that was not the case.
Nintendo’s first mobile title, Super Mario Run, was officially unveiled at Apple’s iPhone event in 2016. Super Mario Run was available on iOS for several months prior to the Android release. However, since the release of Super Mario Run on Android, Nintendo has released Fire Emblem Heroes and a major Super Mario Run update at the same time for both mobile operating systems.