March 2020 brought the latest installment of the Animal Crossing franchise and at first, updates were strong, pulling players back in each time. Spring brought the introduction of shrubbery and the museum’s art gallery. Summer offered a major update with the ability to swim, an expansion of sea creatures at the museum, and the reintroduction of the character Pascal. These updates were exciting and took the internet by storm each time, with players eager to discuss their new experiences with the game. Fall and winter were similarly exciting with the changing seasons in the game, bringing new items and scenery to players’ islands. However, each year only has so many seasons before they come right back around again. This fact seemed to hinder the strong momentum Animal Crossing: New Horizons started out with.
While January and March 2021 did bring Festivalé and Sanrio-themed villagers, the subsequent months were silent apart from seasonal items. That is, until now.
The upcoming updates and DLC have reignited interest in the game but the question is, can developers keep it up? Happy Home Paradise has the game going all-in on the designing aspect of the game for its first paid expansion. However, although designing is a vital aspect of Animal Crossing, not all players love the franchise for this reason. After all, it’s a fairly new addition to the series. Subsequent expansions will need to offer varying concentrations and come quicker if Nintendo is going to grow its player base back to what it was in early 2020.
Nostalgia only goes so far. While the upcoming update is seeing the return of Brewster and Gyroids, New Horizons may need to begin adding newly created content if it’s going to last anything like the 7 years that were between Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.