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What kind of game is ACNH? What is the fun of this game? What's so good about ACNH's game design? Highly playable parallel reality experience Both casual games, why is "FarmVille" no longer popular?  Why can ACNH break the circle successfully?Â

Chier Hu, Blogger

August 10, 2020

33 Min Read

Why is Animal Crossing: New Horizons so popular all over the world?


In the past few months, you may have heard of or felt this "ACNH" trend. 

During the outbreak, many people also held birthday parties, wedding ceremonies and graduation ceremonies in ACNH.


The game ACNH has set a number of sales records. 

After its launch on March 20, 2020, ACNH first sold 1.88 million copies in its first week in Japan, making it the most massive game shipped in the first week of Nintendo's Switch console history. 

Not only is it popular in Japan, but ACNH also tops Amazon's best-selling list of console games in the United States. 

Also, ACNH sold more than 5 million digital versions in March 2020, the highest monthly sales of any digital console game ever, according to analysts at SuperData. (You know, this includes data on all console games such as XBOX and PS4. ACNH is only available in Switch, but Switch's global presence is much lower than that of XBOX and PS4. )

We can see that the data for April this year have come out, and ACNH still occupies the first place in the world in terms of console game sales.


Why is this game so popular? 


What kind of game is ACNH? 


First of all, let's take a look at what kind of game ACNH is. 

In fact, this game is not a game that came out of nowhere this year, as early as 2001, they began to launch the AC game series, the first game called "Animal Crossing", which ran on Nintendo's N64 game console at that time. 

In the past 20 years, the AC series has launched a total of 12 games. 

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which we are familiar with now, is the latest and only AC series of games released on the Switch console.


If you haven't played this game, I'll give you a general introduction first. 

To put it simply, the basic setting of ACNH is to give you an uninhabited island so that you can be the owner of the island, where you can do whatever you want to do, including planting trees, planting flowers, recommending, catching insects and fishing. 

You can build all kinds of buildings and transform your own island; you can also design all types of clothes to dress yourself up; you can donate various kinds of animals and plants to the museums on the island; you can also interact with other friends on the island and invite others to play on your own island. 

You can interact with various small animal NPC or real players. 

This game has no ups and downs in the plot, nor the thrill of fighting monsters to upgrade.


What is the fun of this game? 

Why is it so popular? 

If you ask different ACNH players, each of them may give you a different answer, and sometimes their views are at odds with each other, because ACNH is such a maverick product that many people think that "we can't generalize ACNH in one game type at all."


I have talked to some players who have played many versions of AC for many years, and they basically agree that one of the core strengths of AC is that 

it takes the game leisure experience to almost extreme new heights. 


The ultimate pursuit of AC, in fact, is to start from the lowest level of human nature, to create a completely pressure-free "leisure world". 

Most games want you to stay in the game as long as possible. 

Free online games require players to spend more "online time" before getting you to pay more to recharge or watch more advertisements. Even for paid games, the development team is afraid that the content flow is so short that players scold the content for not being worth the ticket price.


But the core design philosophy of AC is that this is a game that you can put down at any time and come back at any time. 

When you don't play, you won't forget it, so it doesn't want you to keep thinking about it. 

When you come back to play it at any time, you feel in a good mood, do interesting things, and have positive feedback to have a full rest, relax, and have a pleasant experience. 

What kind of experience does it look like? 

A: vacation!


What AC offers you is a "virtual resort that can be accessed anytime, anywhere". 

That's why ACNH chose the keyword "escape" when promoting it, because it provides you with "a service that can be freed from busy work and trivial life for a little while anytime, anywhere." 

In the view of many players, ACNH has helped them realize a "simple, happy, carefree dream" and created a "paradise full of love and goodwill" for players.


It doesn't seem hard to think of actually? 

In fact, for people in the game industry, this is contrary to common sense. 

Why did I say that? 

Because there has always been a default rule in the game industry, games must set clear goals for players. 

Playing "Anipop", your goal is to eliminate the square and pass. 

Playing "Arena of Valor" and "PUBG", Your goal is to beat other players to win. 

Your goal in playing MMO, is to upgrade and get stronger.


Each game provides you with a clear goal, and the game will deliberately set up a series of obstacles to prevent you from achieving your goal so easily. 

After you work hard to get through and achieve your goal, you will feel refreshed. 

Most games also need to use this pressure and negative feedback to encourage players to buy paid props. 

This is the general design rule of the entire game industry that has been unwritten for decades.


Therefore, in the view of game practitioners, this "design concept" of ACNH is contrary to common sense. 

Without a clear goal, without a cycle of "stress, anxiety, and release", where does the game's essential fun come from? 

Even for traditional gamers, this is counterintuitive. 

Most gamers, who have played so many games designed according to traditional ideas, have already formed a habit. Every time they start any new game, they immediately see which is the highest level, what the ultimate goal (End Game) is, and how much they need to spend to get it done quickly. They always thinking, "can I get through the game before everyone else", or collect everything I can obtain? 

To put it bluntly, they're already a little obsessive-compulsive.


As a result, we see that "many traditional gamers feel uncomfortable when playing ACNH." 

Because they do not fully feel that "the original intention of ACNH designers is for you to relax", but think "the pace of this game is too slow" and do not know "what is the purpose of I playing this game?" 

So, by adjusting the time, using the program bug, or speculation, spending real money to buy rare items and other "destructive play", they quickly opened up a limited main plot, quickly collected all kinds of items in the game, and built their own island extremely luxurious like a nouveau riche's. 

But then what? 

They suddenly feel empty and bored again. Many of them even start to re-signup for a new account and play slowly from scratch.


You can see by comparison: in real life, those unfettered, beautiful and leisure holiday islands are quietly waiting for us. We don't have to punch the clock in one by one. 

Going to a particular resort is not your goal. "achieving real relaxation" is your ultimate goal, isn't it?


Such an abnormal design, ACNH not only came up with it, but actually did it, and it became popular. 

Next, let me analyze in more detail, how exactly is ACNH designed? 

What did it do right? 

Whether there is some inspiration for other game developers and some places that can be used for reference in other industries.


What's so good about ACNH's game design? 


Let's take a look at ACNH's game design first. 

I extracted 3 things that ACNH did right from the game itself. They are: 

The ingenious realization of the goal of internalization, 

Highly playable parallel reality experience. 

Circle-breaking influence.


First of all, since they want to pursue the ultimate leisure experience, it is necessary to let players have no pressure in the game. 

As we said earlier, "as long as there are game goals and levels, then players are bound to be under pressure." 

ACNH has made a pioneering innovation that can be groundbreaking in the history of games, which is "de-targeting".


As we introduced earlier, this game will not set any clear goals for you except for the basic operation guidance in the early stage. You can regard it as a "simulation business" which manage your own island; you can also use it as a "costume game" to collect clothes; you can also think of it as a "social game", chat with all kinds of small animals in the game, invite friends to visit the island, and cure your mood. 

So if you ask the player, "what's so good about ACNH? 

"the most answer they can give you is that escape -- escapes from the real world and enjoys the pure and simple pleasure of being free.


Have you found that, its players still have goals to play the game, but these goals are no longer "external goals imposed on you by the game", but "internal goals set by players themselves". What's the difference? 

In many psychological studies, it be found that the internal goal has a more lasting driving force than the external goal, and you will get a stronger sense of satisfaction after achieving it.


Psychologist Maslow put forward a set of demand hierarchy theory, which divides human needs into "physiological", "safety", "belonging and love", "social needs" or "esteem", and "self-actualization" needs from low to high. 

Reflected in Maslow's level of needs, the "inner goal" is the highest level of self-fulfillment needs, and this feedback is far more enjoyable and lasting than "accomplishing a task in other games." 

But it's too hard to do this. What kind of world can you create to inspire players' inner goals?


To do this, ACNH not only removed the goal, but also de-digitizatied". 

In ACNH, there are no various attribute values (strength, agility, quality) that are often used in RPG games;

Without equipment systems, or even no enemies at all, players no longer need to upgrade and fight monsters, and no longer need to enhance the intensity of their equipment and skills. 

In this game, there is no difference in ability between "players who play crazily for more than ten hours a day" and "players who just go online to see the scenery every few days".

And they have no difference in the efficiency of obtaining resources. 

We cut down the tree to get a plank of wood; knock on the stone to get a mine.


Besides, ACNH keeps negative feedback almost to a minimum. 

Many people compare ACNH with other "traditional simulation games", which is a crucial difference. 

You don't have to worry about your food and clothing like in The Sims. 

You don't have to worry about "you don't follow the optimal routine, so you can't achieve the goal of the game for a long time" (like in some farm simulation games).

In ACNH, there is no "punishment for lack of resources". 

Even if you need to spend money to repay the loan to upgrade your house, the loan has no maturity and no interest, and you don't have to worry about it if you don't pay it back. Even if you live in a small tent all the time, it basically doesn't affect your gaming experience. 

Generally speaking, there is almost nothing to put you under pressure in this game world, and the biggest negative feedback may be to lose consciousness after being bitten by a wasp or spider, but then wake up at home with nothing to lose.


In this "completely stress-free world", it doesn't matter if you don't do anything, but ACNH wants "players to set their own internal goals" instead of "really doing nothing." So how do they do it? 

The main change brought about by this is to change the player's focus completely. In terms of Maslow's level of demand theory, its game design helps you get rid of "the two main external sources of stress related to survival and security needs". 

This leaves more energy for players to pursue higher-level internal goals (such as social needs, respect needs, self-fulfilling needs, etc.). 

Because it is a paid game, there is no pressure to pay for the follow-up. 

Many players who are used to buying paid props will feel at a loss when entering the ACNH world.


With regard to social needs and respect needs, both arise from "high-level internal needs between people". Katsuya Eguchi, the producer of ACNH, highlighted the word "social" when explaining his core concept of designing ACNH. 

In this high-tech era, people live in large cities with high buildings and great population density. The physical distance between them is close, but there is a growing lack of face-to-face social scenes. 

Young people are becoming less and less sociable, not because they do not have this need, but because they do not know how to socialize or be afraid of socializing; 

The elderly's lives are also getting lonelier and lonelier. Many of them do not see their children all the year-round, even when they are eating at the same dinner table, everyone bows their heads and plays with their cell phones.


The game designer of ACNH actually wants to change this situation. He wants to use the game's design mechanism to help people learn to socialize, primarily face-to-face socializing. 

Therefore, he has added many NPC characters to the game, but you should not interpret them as "ordinary game NPC characters". 

ACNH spends a lot of energy trying to keep these characters as alive as possible. The AI algorithm supports the small animals' conversations, and they communicate with you with different lines every day, just like real people. 


There are as many as 383 NPC in ACNH that can interact with you. Each NPC has its own character, behavior habits, mantra, NPC events, and utterly different performances according to the player's relationship with them, scene, time, interactive behavior, etc. These NPC will take the initiative to communicate with you, so that players are willing to engage in primary social activities with them. 

Furthermore, the creators are conscientious to add a large number of emotional elements common to real human beings for these NPC people, prompting players to improve their sensibility and empathy in the process of social interaction with them in order to get along better with them, thus imperceptibly exercising the players' ability to deal with real people.


Of course, dealing with NPC is not enough, so this game designs many ways to interact with real players. 

The game also skillfully gives full play to the very "Nintendo" traditional design: 

multi-player local online function, promoting players to "real interaction offline face to face", making it more convenient to exchange resources and show off each other. Many designs are devised to make this kind of "cooperative play" greatly enhance the fun and provide a strong driving force for "people are willing to have more offline social interaction".


Before, I didn't understand why this game is so troublesome in real-life socialization. Why can't it be like other games that make it easy for people to see all other players on the Internet and make friends? 

It was only later that I came to understand the creator's intention: in order to promote more "offline face-to-face communication", they may have deliberately sacrificed some of the "convenience of remote dating interaction". 

If you think about it, if you get an online friendship that is too easy, naturally you don't know how to cherish it. 

At this point, Nintendo designers' adherence really moves me to their core design ideas.


When it comes to the need for self-fulfillment at the highest level, ACNH also does an excellent job, providing a mighty UGC function (that is, the player's free creation function). 

This gives players the freedom to use their imagination and creativity in the game, transform and decorate their own islands and decorate their own homes, and transform almost all the textures in the game. 

This function fully liberates the "inner pursuit of beauty" and, through the previously mentioned social system, shows off to other players, enhances the pleasure of gaining respect, and forms a "positive cycle" between these needs.


Many experienced players criticized it: "those completely unlimited creative games, such as the classic Nonlinear gameplay, Minecraft, is not the best example of game UGC design?" 

But here I would like to say: "rather than completely borderless freedom, freewheeling under the guidance of the game background is more suitable for the design of ACNH." 


We must keep in mind that the core design philosophy of the ACNH game is "the ultimate leisure experience". 

Like other UGC games, providing players with entirely unlimited creative design is not wholly appropriate for ACNH. 

Many Nintendo games have UGC designs, such as "Super Mario Maker, but they will never forget "what is the core purpose of the game". They will never go too far to UGC for the sake of UGC and diluting the essential positioning of the game.


Therefore, in addition to insisting that all elements are related to leisure experience, it also strives for UGC operation convenience. 

Even map editors and music editors, which may feel tired when you think about it, can be done directly in the game in a minimalist and easy-to-use way without intimidating people. 

The game also provides you with various preset themes and backgrounds, a variety of pre-designed a large number of beautiful furniture, decorative scenery, greatly reducing the threshold for your creation. 

ACNH tries its best not to put any designing pressure on you, allowing ordinary players who don't know how to use complex tools to release their creativity and easily gain a sense of achievement.




Highly playable parallel reality experience


Next, let's take a look at the second core point of ACNH's excellent design: the highly playable parallel reality experience. 

There is no clear goal and numerical system, but also to make the game highly playable, then the difficulty of game design is significantly increased. 


ACNH beautifully solved this problem and perfectly in line with the core theme of the game. 

So how does ACNH do it?


ACNH adopts the approach of carefully refining and filtering the real world, projecting them into the game, consciously removing the unpleasant things in real life, leaving behind all the nice things, so that you can enjoy "escaping from reality" while maintaining a powerful sense of immersion.


First of all, time in ACNH is synchronized with time in the real world. 

This design blurs the boundary between ACNH and the real world to the greatest extent, and players will feel that "playing ACNH is the same as anything else in the real world" and become a part of life. 

Another advantage of this design is that it is easy to remember. 

"The vendors who sell turnips come every Sunday morning" is much better remembered than the design of "every resource is refreshed every eight hours". 

You don't have to set an alarm on your phone's calendar, but you'll remember it then.


Why are there so few other games designed to synchronize game world time with the real world?

In fact, this kind of design is not wholly absent. 

For example, in almost all online games, official large-scale multiplayer events often correspond to real festivals. The reason is straightforward, just because it is easy to remember. 

It's just that few other games are as fully synchronized with reality as ACNH. 


It also makes sense for most games to adopt the "free time" system, because the speed at which users "experience behavior" in the game is not the same. You don't want to force all users' behavior to the same starting line in absolute time. (some skilled players run faster than others because they play well, do you have to let others wait until dark to continue to play for the sake of fairness?

Because of its design concept's particularity, ACNH deliberately does not want to "you come here to spend a lot of time." 

Aren't you here on vacation? Why are you running so fast?


Second, ACNH filters out "content that makes people feel responsible in real life". 

The virtual world provided by the game is attractive, in the final analysis, to provide some different experiences, but not too much beyond reality. I summed up a formula: "fond = familiar + accident". 

The truth of game design is the same.


For example, games such as GTA and "Red Dead" simulate adventures that are not easy for you to experience, while "Civilization" allows you to experience life through all ages of human history. 

If the game completely simulates reality, what you play in the game is an ordinary person -- you have to take care of your character growth, socializing, working, making money, and getting married… in the virtually real world. 

What's the fun if living in the virtual world is more tiring than the real world?


The design of ACNH is ingenious. There are only beautiful things specially extracted from the real world: islands, small animals, birds, and flowers, etc. 

You fully feel that "I have escaped to a leisure and happy virtual world," rather than to another completely simulated real world.


Let's bring up the topic of "socializing" again. 

A lot of our stress in real life actually comes from the social relationship between people. 

But the social interaction in ACNH is all guided and benign social interaction. 

At first, the people who interact with you are the small animals on the island. Basically, all the communication between these little animals and you is positive, harmonious and polite. Even if you are not kind to these small animals, they will at most be angry. The most serious reaction is to ask you to leave your island. 

They will never be furious, nor will they bear grudges, jealousy or revenge. 

Although ACNH provides the ability to play online games with real people, ACNH provides "social play with real players" and "the way you interact with NPC daily" is close. 

When you are uncomfortable interacting with a real person, you can immediately return and interact with "virtual animals provided by the system." in this controllable comfort zone, you can be completely cured without the pressure of forced social interaction.


In addition, the collection designed in the game is all beautiful things in the real world (flowers, birds, fish and insects, gorgeous furniture, artistic decorations, etc.). 

Moreover, it has a large capacity, and then cleverly controls the release of the content through full randomness and design linked to real time, supplemented by content updates from various countries and regions worldwide. It creates a long-standing sense of expectation and surprise, and naturally results in differences in content collection among players in different living areas and different behavior habits. 

This has given rise to social and trading needs.


Both casual games, why is "FarmVille" no longer popular? 


When it comes to the amount of content elements in the game, I would also like to compare ACNH with other classic casual games that we are familiar with. 

For example, the social game "FarmVille" that used to be popular, in fact, "FarmVille" is equivalent to building your island, and then you visit various friends' homes to interact. The logic of ACNH is actually a bit similar. 

But why are farm games not popular after a while?


Apart from the fact that his social interaction is basically out of sync, the biggest problem with this kind of games is that the gameplay is too shallow and the content is too little. 

Basically, you can only collect and build according to the "route set for you by the game". The seeds and furniture sold in the store are the system made for you. You save enough money, buy new goods and leave them at home, then the game is over. 

Your only pursuit is almost to have more collection and placement elements, but there are not many collectable elements in the farm game, and the update frequency is not high, and their studio updates up to two elements a week. 

It has been operating this game for several years, and there may only be hundreds of props. 

In this way, you may find it interesting when you first start, but it won't be long before you feel boring.


How many collectable elements are there in ACNH? 

There are hundreds of species of insects and fish that can be collected alone. There are as many as 3,000 or 4,000 kinds of furniture and clothing, respectively. 

All kinds of animals, insects and fish have different habits, and their occurrence time and place, active season and so on are similar to those of the real world. 

For the fish you can catch in March, you may not catch it in April. Many creatures can only be found in the southern hemisphere, but not in the northern hemisphere, and there is still the possibility of "hybridizing new species" of flowers. 

Coupled with all kinds of DIY changes, they are endless.


In terms of volume, the depth of the game has undergone a qualitative change. 

I think the original intention of ACNH designers is to "use this 'boundless rich content and close to the real world level of randomness', so that players do not have to force the pressure of memory but freely choose the time and way to play. 

When you open the game at any time, it has something new for you. You don't have to get something at a fixed time and a fixed location, as you do in other games, and aim to collect everything as if you were completing a task.


If there is anything else that will help to increase the playability of ACNH? 

Because there are so many details in the game that it has a complete and powerful realistic effect, provides a sufficient sense of immersion, and forms a perfect closed loop around the core of the game's "escape from reality".


For example, walking on a floor of different materials, your footsteps sound different. 

There are hundreds of different footsteps in the game. 

For example, if other friends come to visit your island, your animal friends will "observe" them and mention them later in the chat. 

For example, there will be different background music in different weather 24 hours a day, all year-round. 

Even the music played in the store changes over time. 

When shops are about to close, you will hear the music style that the mall and supermarket are about to close. 

There are too many details to count.


It is also worth saying that the voice of NPC, a small animal in ACNH, is specially developed for them in the game. 

It does not use real voice like other AAA games, nor does it simply use a combination of common voice elements, but uses many abstract voice elements 

(it gives a variety of distinctive sounds for animals of different personalities, ages and genders). 

Even for players in different countries, the language version is tailored to the characteristics of the language. 

If you play the Chinese version, you will find that the words spoken by these animals sound a lot like Chinese. When you listen to them compare the subtitles, you will find that almost all the first syllables of each sentence's core words can match. It's both kind and fun.


To sum up, all these designs are combined to create a "familiar and unexpected paradise-like virtual world" for players, realizing the extraordinary immersion and playability of the game. This is my summary of ACNH's unique "parallel reality experience".


Why can ACNH break the circle successfully? 


Next, let's talk about the third core point of getting ACNH right, circle-breaking influence. 

The success of ACNH is inseparable from the core design philosophy that Nintendo has always adhered to: making more "family games" that are suitable for the whole family to play together. 

When it comes to the concept of "family fun", as we said earlier, the best way to attract the largest number of users is to use the "elements that most move everyone."

 The elements extracted by the designers of ACNH from the real world are all universal "killer" elements adapted to users of all ages and genders: 

NPC made of cute animals rather than real people. 

Q version of the character modeling, a variety of lovely flowers and plants, fish and insects, beautiful natural scenery, etc., who can withstand this whole set of "cute"?


Under the guidance of this basic thinking, ACNH designers start from "the lowest needs of human nature" to build the game world from scratch, dare to break all kinds of traditional game design concepts and rules, and create a new game mode for the largest number of users. 

It almost "expands the definition of video games". 


But when the game was just launched, it didn't sell well because it was a little hard for mainstream traditional gamers to understand. 

And past generations of AC, have been released mainly on Nintendo's own handheld game console, 3DS. 

(this hardware is catching up with the rapid popularity of smartphones in recent years, so it doesn't sell well, limiting the number of users that games can reach. )


In March, the Nintendo Switch global sales soared, selling more than 55 million units, getting closer to the number of traditional console giants, the PS4 and the XBOX One. 

Also, the popularity of Ring Fit Adventure games and the promotion of the epidemic continue to lead to further growth in Switch's global sales. 


Most importantly, the Switch is the only portable console of the three, especially suitable for games like AC. 

With the launch of ACNH, the latest version of Switch this year, ACNH finally broke the circle 

(it helped Nintendo and the entire game industry expand its user base, allowing more "players who did not previously belong to the game's core user group" to experience the charm of video game for the first time).


As there are more and more players, ACNH's UGC function begins to work its "magic" (friends start to communicate with each other and show off the beautiful islands and homes they have built. 

Players spread ACNH to a broader range of social networks through a variety of social networks, far beyond the traditional "game circle", pushing ACNH to "break the circle" and form a positive cycle). 

The ACNH user base we actually see is similar to many other Nintendo games, with a wide age distribution, and many of them are not "typical gamers" at all. 

In my opinion, this is also a critical contribution that ACNH brings to the entire game industry.


How long will the game ACNH be popular? 


Are there any other games that surpass ACNH? 

For now, ACNH seems to be at the peak of the series, and although the current popularity has declined slightly, it is still able to maintain its top position in console game sales. Given the game's "long retention design" and high reputation, as well as the strategy of "games in sync with the real world," I foresee that the popularity of ACNH will continue for a long time.


In the long run, the ACNH game still has some hidden worries: 


First of all, its network is not stable enough, and its network function design is not perfect. At the same time, there can only be 8 users landing on the island, and the experience of online interaction is not satisfactory. Although there may be deliberate considerations of "promoting players to meet and play offline", but after all, it will affect the "user base expansion" and "improve retention rate through online social networking" of the game. 

Second, its update speed is not fast because its development team's development model is still relatively traditional, putting most of its energy on "before the game goes online." It is estimated that their main force has already begun to develop the next version. Instead of being like online games, all the main forces put on the current game's content updates. 

And the next big version will probably have to wait for many years.


In my opinion, ACNH is difficult to surpass, and the popularity of ACNH stems from "their entire excellent team's precise control of human needs, as well as the ultimate pursuit of game design." 

There will undoubtedly be many imitators of ACNH in the future, but most of them can only imitate some of the games of ACNH, and it is difficult to imitate the complete feeling and essence of ACNH. 

Even if newcomers want to try this new type, the first one to surpass ACNH is likely the next AC.


What is the business strategy behind ACNH? 


After predicting the future of ACNH, as an investor in video game field, I would like to talk to you about the business strategy behind ACNH. 

I'm sure you've noticed a bit of a strange phenomenon: ACNH is a small, casual game with strong social elements, so it should be especially suitable for playing on mobile phones, but why does Nintendo insist on selling it only on its own gaming platform?


In fact, the ACNH series did launch a mobile version of the game at the end of 2017. If you take a closer look, you will find that "the mobile version of ACNH doesn't seem to be developed carefully, the most prominent UGC and social features of the game are shallow, and there are a lot of short and fast paid content designs." 

If you are a player of the ACNH series, you will be disappointed to see this mobile game. 

Not only ACNH but also Nintendo's many of its own famous IP mobile games have also appeared a similar phenomenon. 

Is it wrong for Nintendo to develop mobile games?


Of course not, the real reason is that "Nintendo does not use the mobile version of the game as its own blockbuster product, but may use it more as a 'draining ad for its own mainframe version'." 

As I told you earlier, ACNH sales on Nintendo's own Switch console platform broke the monthly sales record for all console games, which significantly boosted Switch consoles' sales. 

After the launch of ACNH, its game cards and Switch consoles were once sold out worldwide, with the price of the Switch console rising by more than 50 percent and the price of the ACNH game itself by more than 80 percent. 


Behind the success of ACNH is a continuous and effective strategy in the business: platform vendors often need "top exclusive content masterpieces" to drive the platform's critical growth. 

ACNH as a super masterpiece, if born in content manufacturers that focus on games, such as EA and Ubisoft, "selling on all platforms at the same time" must be the best strategy. 

But Nintendo is a platform manufacturer, just as Microsoft's exclusive masterpiece "Halo" will not be on Sony's PS game console, and Sony's exclusive masterpiece "Uncharted" will not be on Microsoft's XBOX game console, the main task of top content masterpieces in the hands of platform vendors must not be to make the most money, but to use its exclusive features to promote the number of users of the platform.

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