Soapbox: I’m Super Excited About The Future Of Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons director Aya Kyogoku recently said that she sees New Horizons as the beginning of Animal Crossing’s third generation. That begs the question, how will this generation develop as we move forwards? After all, Animal Crossing superfans are still going to be playing New Horizons for months, if not years, to come.

Well, in order to look forwards sometimes you have to look backwards. It’s been almost twenty years since the first Animal Crossing game released and in that time players have gone from being a humble villager, to the mayor of a town and, on the Switch, an island representative tasked with creating the perfect getaway paradise. Additionally, core games have kept things exciting with updates: add-ons, festivals, themed days, and expansions.

Of course, updates are already a thing in New Horizons. So far, we’ve seen Zipper T. Bunny hiding eggs around our islands to celebrate Bunny Day, and the May Day Maze event as a themed Nook Miles Tour. Players have also been offered the chance to use skills learnt in Happy Home Designer to create serene interior designs for a series of wedding snaps at Harvey’s Island. And who could forget Redd’s clandestine visits to the game’s secret beach?

We also know that we’re getting summer updates complete with the addition of swimming, diving and the chance to collect new kinds of sea life to further stock up the museum and craft new furniture with the help of Pascal. I couldn’t have been happier when I saw an islander dive into the ocean in the recent summer update teaser, and it also confirmed that we’ll be getting a second update in August. But what might that entail? And what exciting additions could be coming to New Horizons beyond the summer?

One hope is that we’ll see the return of fan-favourite events from previous games. An example of this is Mushrooming Season, which was introduced in the first Animal Crossing adventure and has been featured in most main games aside from Wild World. Thankfully, we know that this autumn festivity will be returning to New Horizons, as Mushrooming Season is confirmed to be starting for players in the Northern Hemisphere in November later this year. Similar to Bunny Day, there are plenty of mushroom-inspired DIY recipes to find around that time, including a pretty snazzy mushroom umbrella.
With DIY recipes and crafting being a big feature of New Horizons, a lot of fans are wondering whether established Animal Crossing events will be tailored to suit this new gameplay mechanic. Two of the biggest events in past Animal Crossing games were Halloween and Christmas Eve, with players spending the proceeding month preparing costumes and finding out what presents villagers were hoping to receive. With the new DIY twist on the franchise, it’s possible that you may have to personally craft your neighbours’ seasonal gifts, and perhaps even create spooky costumes for Halloween from scratch. This is sounds like so much fun and, if true, I can’t wait to see what costumes the update brings!

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