Animal Crossing: New Horizons Issues New Guidelines To Avoid Politics

On its own, Animal Crossing: New Horizons had no problem finding an audience or players. The game took a huge leap forward when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined in on the fun and visited some islands. While that was indeed fun, there’s no question that it had a hint of politics.

It didn’t come as a surprise for many people that the game eventually became a platform to campaign during this year’s US presidential election. However, that looks like it is going to change with the new guidelines that Nintendo has released.

Nintendo started its statement pandering a bit to users and saying that they “deeply appreciate that so many people around the world are having fun with Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Nintendo Switch” and that they thank everyone for the “support and for helping us build such a wonderful community.”

Nintendo admits that while New Horizons is mainly for personal use, it’s possible that business and organizations are likely to use the game or make a reference to it in relation to their business. With this in mind, Nintendo said that they “would like to share a few guidelines with those businesses, organizations, and anyone representing them, to preserve the experience for the millions of people enjoying the Game recreationally.”

Under the new guidelines, businesses and organizations can use New Horizons in these ways:

  • Providing their Custom Design and/or Dream Address to other players.
  • Inviting other players to their island.
  • Uploading screenshots and/or game footage to family-friendly websites and social network services.

On the other hand, businesses and organizations are to take note of these reminders:

  • Please be aware of the game rating and do not engage in activities that go beyond the rating.
  • Please refrain from using the Game inappropriately or creating any content within the Game that would be considered vulgar, discriminatory, or offensive.
    • Please also refrain from bringing politics into the Game.
  • ​Please do not share false information about the Game with anyone, and do not deceive others while using the Game (e.g. falsely indicating you are separately licensed or otherwise approved by Nintendo).
  • Please do not leverage the Game as a marketing platform that directs people to activities or campaigns outside the game (including directing people to a sales page, distributing coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways, requiring consumers to follow social network services accounts, gathering customers’ information, or other invitational activities).
  • You are not allowed to obtain any financial benefit from using the Game (including selling your Custom Design or earning any advertising revenue with the Game content).

Nintendo warned organizations and businesses that if Nintendo finds out that “activity is not following these guidelines or is damaging or having bad influence on the community, we may ask you to stop such activity or usage of our contents, and take appropriate actions, including prohibiting your future business usage of the Game.”

The way the guidelines are presented, it appears that they aren’t preventing individuals from being political. Only businesses and organizations need to remain politically neutral. That should be, at least, a good sign.

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