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Nintendo considers Animal Crossing: New Horizons as the start of the series’ third generation


Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch has brought many changes to the franchise with crafting, terraforming and other improvements that fans have lapped up since launch. Although the game isn’t without its annoyances, the improvements surrounding online play have been paramount in its success. The games’ Director, Aya Kyogoku, recently sat down with Spanish publication La Vanguarda and thanks to a translation by a reader from Nintendo Everything, we can see that Kyogoku considers the latest Animal Crossing game marks the start of the third generation in the series. They mention that the ability to play online easily with others is a contributing factor as to why they think this.

“Looking back on the series, for the mainline titles specifically, I consider Animal Crossing: New Horizons to be the beginning of the third generation of the series.

The first Animal Crossing had no online play features – it was created under the premise that players could communicate in an asynchronous manner without an internet connection.

Online functions were added in Animal Crossing: City Folk and it was possible to play together even with people living in different places.

In New Horizons, due to the fact that you start by not having a normal town, there are a lot of changes even if you play alone. We also added a mode called ‘Party Play’ where you can play with people living on the same island simultaneously instead of doing it asynchronously like before.

The fact that Animal Crossing is a game about communication has been constant through the franchise’s history, but the options relating to how you communicate are changing in a flexible way alongside the times and technology.”

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18 thoughts on “Nintendo considers Animal Crossing: New Horizons as the start of the series’ third generation”

  1. Now if only visiting other islands online wasn’t such a dang hassle. Just make a list of options: harv, nook island, local, online and split online into dodo code or not, or best friends. That’s 2 options max. Not “are you suuuuure you want to go online? Oh and make sure you don’t accidentally choose the wrong online option or oh drumsticks, do you want to start all over?”

    1. Ugh, so true.
      It’s was such a turn-off when I first discovered the overtly tedious online stuff. It completely detoured me from opening my gates/visiting because it was just so damn unbearable.
      Funny how the devs can act on glitches at the speed of light but it will take them months to act on adding some simple QOL/updates.

  2. “Online functions were added in Animal Crossing: City Folk and it was possible to play together even with people living in different places.”

    Uhm… Wild World had Online functions, and that came out BEFORE City Folk.

    1. It was better than City Folk too- CF was literally just WW with a pocket town with like 3 more shops added in. Wild World actually added things that were valuable and made the game fun to play.

      …Except Lyle- screw that ostentatious otter.

            1. I dont think anyone deserves to go through what you did, but at least you’re reflecting and want to do better. Which means that you’re a good person. It will turn around for you I bet! You’re one of the brightest guys around here!

              1. Thanks. Its gonna be rough since I was with her for 12 years. Being away from my kid sucks, too, but I’ll just make things worse if I go back right now. (Staying with a cousin of mine. Too bad his daughter is like a wasp that just won’t go away. I get she’s 4 but ugh! How does a girl not know about personal space!? lol) Best I stay away til I’ve moved on completely. As another friend told me, I’m stubborn, so I’ll be okay. I hope.

  3. For me, the N64/GCN is Gen 1, DS/Wii is Gen 2, 3DS/WiiU Gen 3 and this is actually the start of Gen 4. You can tell that games in those groups/generations share similar aesthetics, features and, most notably, hourly music. I think calling New Horizons “Gen 3” is as wrong as saying City Folk was the first Animal Crossing game with online.

  4. Did she just forgot about Animal Crossong Wild World or did she chose not to acknowledge it? I mean she is the director of the game series, how can she just simply forget?!

    And what does she mean by “3rd generation” when it is obviously the 5th generation of this series?!

    1. that is what i am wondering…

      i mean if city folk was the first one with online, then i suppose Pokemon Black and White were the first Pokemon games to have online features >.>

    2. They don’t mean the number of games, they mean major milestones that sort of redefine what Animal Crossing is, feature-wise. While every game introduced new things, they didn’t necessarily add anything major to the game. And they specifically view anything that builds upon the main point of the game–communication–is what defines the next leap or generation. They listed what those advancements were. And not all games advanced communication.

    1. Yeah, I don’t even know what they mean by “generations”.
      If the games did have generations, you’d think they would simply match the console/portable generations starting with the first game.
      1st Gen AC (technically N64)
      2nd Gen AC (Wii/DS)
      3rd Gen AC (3DS)
      4th Gen AC (NS)

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