Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ has received a new set of guidelines that target how businesses and persons should operate when in-game. These guidelines outline what is and is not appropriate for a business to do in-game, with certain wording appearing to indicate that political campaigns are not permitted.
In an official update on the Nintendo site on November 19, 2020, a post called “Animal Crossing: New Horizons Usage Guidelines for Businesses and Organizations” outlined some of the new rules businesses and players would need to abide by.
The bulk of it is much as many would expect: do not create vulgar content or content that exceeds the game’s rating. But there is one section that explicitly requests players not bring politics to the game. Tucked away at the end of a sentence dealing with vulgarity, discrimination, and offenses is this:
Please also refrain from bringing politics into the Game.
It would appear that Nintendo would rather users not utilize its game as a means of sending political messages. To further this, Nintendo has also requested Animal Crossing to not be used as a call to action for activity outside the game:
Please do not leverage the Game as a marketing platform that directs people to activities or campaigns outside the game (including directing people to a sales page, distributing coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways, requiring consumers to follow social network services accounts, gathering customers’ information, or other invitational activities).
While this section can be applied to any user, this guidelines update comes after President-Elect Joe Biden used Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a campaign tool on his path to presidency. This timing is therefore rather uncanny.
There is another part, however, which could be more impactful for the average user. It states that users cannot obtain any financial benefit from using Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Whether this means simply not selling in-game designs or extends to the likes of streaming it on Twitch is unknown. However, given that this announcement is targeted at businesses and organizations, it could mean sole traders and streamers aren’t affected and it’s merely businesses that should not benefit financially.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on any new guidelines coming down the pipes. You can also stay up to date by looking over the Shacknews Animal Crossing: New Horizons page.