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access_time March 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM in Features by David Poole

Animal Crossing: New Horizons DLC: Should it Happen?

It’s Monday, but not just any Monday. This is the Monday after the launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. We hope everyone has been enjoying their time setting up their own island paradise. The game has been taking the world by storm across social media, even gaining critical acclaim. We’re hard at work on our own review of the title, but there’s still plenty to discuss about the game. Today, we propose a hypothetical question. What if Nintendo decided to make Animal Crossing: New Horizons DLC?

Surely, this question shouldn’t be too unusual. Nintendo has been more accepting of downloadable content additions to their games as of late. Many of their games on the Nintendo Switch have taken advantage of it, from ARMS to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Even Pokemon Sword and Shield are getting an expansion pass, a first for the series. Whether it’s free DLC or a paid expansion, this is a trend Nintendo is continuing to embrace. So it stands to reason that we might want to prepare for possible DLC in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

The Animal Crossing series is definitely no stranger to additional content. Even going as far back as the original game on GameCube, there was a system in place for “adding” content to the game. Sure, back then, it was a code system to unlock items, but the idea was definitely there. Since then, additional content was often in the form of promotional gifts from Nintendo through small online updates. Would this approach still be adequate in 2020? Or would fans demand more from Nintendo?

There’s always going to be someone against the idea of downloadable content, especially when there’s a fee. The idea tends to rub some the wrong way when it comes to the idea of a complete game. Regardless, the current climate of the industry often demands more content to keep a game alive longer than normal. Sure, Animal Crossing is a game that typically has legs on its own, but sometimes it’s never enough for certain gamers.

It wouldn’t be surprising if months from now, Nintendo holds a presentation to announce DLC plans. This could easily mean a paid expansion pass that provides additional items, villagers, or even clothing options. It might even bring elements of older games back to the forefront, like a new version of the city. While it’s not exactly easy to determine what would be the best approach for DLC, would people be willing to pay for it?

New clothing options, items, and villagers seem to be the most obvious options, but could they do more? What if they made an expansion pass that allowed us to have a second island? Some fans are already upset that it’s only one island per Switch, so surely they would be more upset if a second one was behind a paywall. Maybe it’s better that Nintendo make additional content at no extra cost? Animal Crossing does seem to be a series that would benefit from free updates after all. Even then, what kind of updates would they make?

It’s hard to know what options Nintendo may have cooking when it comes to Animal Crossing: New Horizons DLC. They might not have anything coming at all, and fans will probably be okay with that too. What do you think? Does Animal Crossing fall under the DLC umbrella that other Nintendo titles do? Is it best with using just small promo items like before? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in our comments below.

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