The friendly world of Animal Crossing has once again become the victim of a financial scandal, as reports of the latest patch for Pocket Camp have revealed that a loot box aspect has been added to the game, where players can pay real money for imaginary items.
The latest update for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has added a mechanic where you can acquire exclusive rare items by purchasing fortune cookies. It's possible to buy fortune cookies using Bells (the currency you earn by completing in-game events) but there is a limit to how many times you can do this a day.
There are premium fortune cookies that can be purchased using Leaf Tickets, which have no limit on the amount you can buy each day. There are items that are exclusive to these premium fortune cookies, which means that you need to spend Leaf Tickets in order to complete certain sets.
It's possible to earn Leaf Tickets through in-game events and leveling up, but it will take you an ice age to save up the amount needed to complete a set/find all of the rare items that you want and there is a limit to how long they are available for.
There is also a chance that you will be wasting your money when purchasing fortune cookies, as it's possible to acquire duplicate items, which the game will give you nothing for. If your inventory is full, then the fortune cookies will be sent to your mailbox for a limit of thirty days, after which they will disappear.
The limit has also been lifted on what you can spend on Leaf Tickets, with it now being possible to spend £75 for 2500 of them.
The huge success of Nintendo's mobile outings is likely what prompted them to start using these dodgy business practices. They tried to do the right thing with Super Mario Run which gave you a few levels for free, with the option of purchasing the rest of the game. Super Mario Run would go on to underperform for Nintendo in terms of sales.
Fire Emblem Heroes would go on to be a major success for the company, even though it is based on a much less popular series than Mario. Fire Emblem Heroes used every slimy Gacha tactic in the book and went on to earn almost three million dollars during its first year of release.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp represents a huge experiment for Nintendo in terms of the future of their mobile endeavors. The popularity of the Animal Crossing series is what is allowing them to try out these unpopular microtransaction tactics, despite the backlash against loot boxes that has happened throughout the industry over the past year.
Tom Nook might be trying to sell you a fortune cookie, but the only future that it will predict is that of more Nintendo franchises being ruined by unrestrained greed.