As many fans saw, Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch faced a delay and many fans were split on whether it’d be a 2019 title or not. Nintendo announced that the reason we won’t see it out this year is because they want to maintain a healthy work-life balance for their employees.
The only big fall titles Nintendo has going on this year do appear to be Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. Nintendo will still have a pretty solid summer lineup with Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It’ll be the first Fire Emblem title to come out on a console in a long time. There are many other titles coming out too, but Fire Emblem is a big one.
Why Was Animal Crossing: New Horizons Delayed, and Why Does It Make Sense?
Anyway, back to the topic at hand – why the Animal Crossing: New Horizons delay makes sense. The top reason it makes sense is due to the above-stated reason, which is the work-life balance of employees. Having a good work-life balance is good, not only for the people working on the title, but even for the upper management.
“The crunch point is an interesting one. For us, one of our key tenets is that we bring smiles to people’s faces, and we talk about that all the time. It’s our vision. Or our mission, I should say. For us, that applies to our own employees. We need to make sure that our employees have good work-life balance.” – Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America
The other big reason is obviously to improve the game, and to make it the best Animal Crossing game on a home console to date. The staff working on the game can recharge and come up with ideas if they’re given a good work-life balance, Nintendo has stated to the fans of the game. They understand we’re disappointed with the news. After they announced the delay, Nintendo’s stocks did drop down massively.
There have been many reports of Japanese people overworking themselves and experiencing some health issues. So it’d also prevent that from happening, especially at a company like Nintendo. Nintendo does not need to deal with employees becoming dissatisfied and overworking themselves to make a video game.
This is why I find that the Animal Crossing: New Horizons delay makes sense from a gamers standpoint, and also reading about Japanese work culture in general helps with understanding the issue.