Nintendo on Tuesday announced the long-anticipated Animal Crossing mobile game in the form of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, with the upcoming title making an appearance during the company's latest Direct stream. As expected, the game will essentially be a streamlined version of contemporary installments in the popular community management simulation franchise, allowing players to create and decorate their camps, make friends with various animals, and then host them at their campsites. A crafting system will be part of the package, as revealed by the game's first official trailer which also suggested that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will either feature dynamically changing seasons or at the very least provide players with campsite themes inspired by the four seasons.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be a free-to-play title with optional in-app purchases, the Japanese entertainment giant said, but didn't elaborate whether all in-game content will be unlockable through regular play or if some skins and possibly other digital goods will be placed behind a paywall. The company has so far experimented with various business models in the mobile segment and has found the most success with Pokemon GO and Fire Emblem Heroes, neither of which place any insurmountable barriers in front of players who insist on not paying for anything while still not relying on ads. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will presumably be more of the same once it releases in late November. Unlike Super Mario Run, the upcoming title is set to simultaneously launch on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. The game reportedly already soft-launched on Android devices in Australia where it should be available for download to all users.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has been delayed on numerous occasions, having originally been announced in spring 2016 and meant to be released a few months later. Following several minor delays, the first official Animal Crossing mobile game was supposed to hit Android devices alongside Fire Emblem Heroes in September 2016 but got pushed back yet again, with Nintendo only confirming it's still working on the project in early 2017 and not committing to any further availability windows. It's currently unclear why the game went through over a year of delays, with Nintendo being one of the largest companies in the industry and experienced enough to estimate its internal game development times without being a year off. It's possible that the original concept for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was scrapped for some reason and the game was remade largely from scratch, though the company gave no actual indications of that being the case during its long-awaited Tuesday announcement. Nintendo has another major mobile release other than Animal Crossing in the works, with the company previously confirming it's developing a Legend of Zelda game for Android smartphones and tablets which still doesn't have a firm availability window attached to it.