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“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” Update Excites Chinese Gamers

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The 2.0 update for the massively popular Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) is now live, and fans worldwide — China included — are celebrating.

Originally scheduled to be released today, November 5, Nintendo surprised ACNH players by dropping the free update a day early. The other highly anticipated paid add-on, Happy Home Paradise, however, only became available today.

This new 2.0 update is the biggest change-up since the game’s 2020 release, with Nintendo adding several fan-favorite characters, such as Brewster, who owns a cafe in the museum.

The update also added several experiences like cooking and farming, and expanded villager interactions, such as community workouts.

Although the world-building game was blocked in China in April 2020, Chinese gamers still find ways to enjoy it. On Friday, the hashtag ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons update is here early’ (#动森提前更新#) has gained more than 15 million views and triggered 9,000 discussions on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging platform.

“I logged on to my island as soon as I got back from work,” wrote one excited netizen, referring to the game’s setting. Another shared, “After three months of not playing the game, I am going to turn on my Switch now.”

Chinese netizens seem to be particularly captivated by the new option to take a boat tour with the green turtle character Kapp’n, who takes players to a mysterious island after singing a song.

animal-crossing

Out for a rip with Kapp’n. Image via Weibo

Weibo users shared videos of their game characters listening to Kapp’n’s singing, with one writing, “Although this is just a game, Nintendo has never failed to make it touching.” One netizen enjoyed Kapp’n’s tune so much that she learned it and posted her own cover version of the song.

Other players shared pictures of their characters working out with the villagers.

Animal-Crossing

Image via Weibo

Meanwhile, some netizens shared memes to show their enthusiasm for the newly updated game.

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Image via Weibo

It is fair to say Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the gaming community by storm in 2020 when Covid-19 forced people worldwide to quarantine and work from home. The game provided a sense of connection because players could visit each other when they could not do so in the real world.

However, the game’s popularity later waned: Many fans complained that they started to log on less frequently after playing through the game, and Nintendo did not provide enough new content.

Given this massive update, it seems Nintendo listened.

Cover image via @animalcrossing on Twitter

Kayla He
    Born and raised in China, Kayla received her BA in Communications and Public Service from the University of Pennsylvania. You can find her exploring coffee shops and running between spin classes in her free time.
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