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What's the point of Amiibos? Animal Crossing's director explains

"Amiibos aren't just figurines. The most important part is that they link or connect with games. They interact with games."
"Amiibos aren't just figurines. The most important part is that they link or connect with games. They interact with games. So, it's a necessity to have a figure and a game to go along with it -- that's point one."

- Animal Crossing series game director Aya Kyogoku

In a new interview with USGamer, Animal Crossing: New Leaf director Aya Kyogoku lays out the case for Nintendo's Amiibo figurines. They're popular, but so far the use-case for them hasn't been too clear.

There are two Animal Crossing games coming up, however -- Happy Home Designer for the 3DS, and Amiibo Festival for the Wii U -- that feature Amiibo functionality prominently. In the case of the Animal Crossing franchise, Amiibo take the form of both figurines and cards, as shown above.

"But as the Animal Crossing team, we were confident that if there was [an Animal Crossing Amiibo], it would be really cute... honestly, we just wanted Animal Crossing Amiibo. We wanted the company to make Animal Crossing Amiibo, so that's why we made a game that works with them," Kyogoku said.

That quote implies the reality of Amiibos: They're cute collectors' toys as much as they're important to gameplay. But something that is also important to consider is that Amiibos are designed to work across many titles:

"I would assume that a lot of people who want to get the Animal Crossing Amiibo will be fans of the Animal Crossing series, and I think they would enjoy being able to use that Amiibo for different Animal Crossing titles. So we really tried to keep the idea to really make this a fun experience for all users when we were creating this."

Her franchise, she says, is well-suited to implementing the toys: "I think in terms of the use of Amiibo or [earlier, Gamecube-era collectible cards] e-Plus cards, I think the reason that the Animal Crossing series lends itself to things like that is because the game is so free. It's always filled with a lot of content; a lot of features, so when we are in the development phase thinking about things, it just makes it a lot easier to integrate these things."

The full interview contains more on the topic, of course -- and the general direction of the very popular franchise.

Gamasutra was earlier able to talk directly to Kyogoku and producer Katsuya Eguchi about the development of New Leaf, and you can find that conversation here. If you're trying to understand just what makes Animal Crossing compelling, we've featured some writing on that subject, too.

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