Animal Crossing is finally coming to Nintendo Switch in 2019. The recent Nintendo Direct did little more than show the logo and the year, but that's all it took to give Animal Crossing fans hope. Well, that and revealing adorable dog assistant Isabelle as a fighter for Super Smash Bros. With these two big announcements happening at once, it's almost as if Nintendo suddenly remembered that Animal Crossing is indeed a franchise that can make money.
Both reveals were held until the end of the Nintendo Direct, a spot usually reserved for the biggest, most shocking announcements. Isabelle's addition to Smash came first, with a set-up that ditched the grim tone that Smash trailers have taken lately for trademark Animal Crossing cuteness. After Isabelle bids us farewell, the raccoon tycoon Tom Nook comes on to muse about how much work is in store for him. Why is he working so hard? Because Animal Crossing 2019.
Isabelle as a Smash fighter certainly played its role as a shocking announcement. A new Animal Crossing game is equally big news, but also something fans have been asking for since the Switch came out.
For context, the last two Animal Crossing games were the mobile Pocket Camp and the Mario Party-wannabe Amiibo Festival. Pocket Camp has a solid player base, but is light when it comes to content, as you'd expect a mobile game to be. Amiibo Festival has been torn apart by fans and critics alike for offering nothing akin to the series' staple gameplay. The last true Animal Crossing experience was New Leaf back in 2012.
To say it's time for a new main series Animal Crossing game is an understatement. Sure, the franchise hasn't reached Zelda or Pokémon heights of popularity, but it still has very passionate fans who are itching for a new game. To go all these years without offering them a full-fledged product is just leaving money on the table.
Fortunately, post-Switch Nintendo is all about that cash. Isabelle's inclusion in Smash will bring some much-needed cuteness to the increasingly grisly roster, and Animal Crossing will be getting a proper Switch game next year. Now, finally, you can truthfully say that it's a good time to be an Animal Crossing fan.