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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Will Not Support Cloud Saves

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

So in a rather strange announcement, Nintendo has revealed that their hyped new Switch title, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will have no cloud save functionality. So as it stands, if you lose your device or your save file for this game, you have to start all over.

The justification for this simple, Nintendo doesn’t want users to have the ability to manipulate “time” in the game. In other words, they don’t want people save scumming or reverting to an old save to redo an important decision.

The whole baffling part of this is that it’s not even a question as to whether Switch titles should have cloud saves, it should be an assumption, especially for non-competitive titles like Animal Crossing. For those not in the know, Animal Crossing is a game built around the grind of long-term play. Building relationships with your community and handling the day-to-day rigmarole of life is absolutely part of the draw of the franchise. That takes time. And it’s very easy to have a save get corrupted and lose all of that progress.

And with a platform like the Switch, it’s much easier to lose or damage the hardware than it is on the Wii or other Nintendo consoles. It’s a portable device that will get lost or dropped, will get left behind in hotel rooms, and will unfortunately get stolen. Not having cloud saves be a default feature in this highly connected age is absurd.

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This whole thing goes to show how Nintendo is rather behind the times when it comes to online services for games. Microsoft and Sony nailed the template for how to do online play and community features a decade ago. Why Nintendo is still not at least at this level is just confusing and weird. It’s not like it’s still prohibitively expensive or hard to find the workforce with the experience to handle the service.

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