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Platform 3DS Publisher Nintendo Developer Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development Release Date 2013-06-09

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Review
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9.0

Animal Crossing: New Leaf review: civic duty

New Leaf is part sandbox, part zen garden The domestic core of Animal Crossing: New Leaf hasn't deviated too far from the series' roots. Players will still fill their hours collecting sets of furniture, putting together fashionable wardrobes and acquiring Bells with which to pay their escalating mortgages. Scores of newer activities are available in New Leaf, but even the core tenets are deeper than ever, from your house's customizable front facade, all the way down to your avatar's customizable socks. It's a minimalistic simulation of life, but not a shallow one, which is where many of New Leaf's charms lie. Unlike other, more demanding entries in the genre, Animal Crossing eschews the bottom, stressful rungs of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. There's no hunger meter, or friendship...

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Animal Crossing chief celebrates greater diversity at Nintendo

Aya Kyogoku is one of the most influential women in Japanese gaming. As Animal Crossing: New Leaf director, she is responsible for one of the biggest hits of the last year. She is also that rarity; a woman in a position of seniority at Nintendo. Animal Crossing on 3DS was a huge hit with gamers of all kinds, allowing players to inhabit an alternative life and build their own character and surroundings. In an interview with US Gamer today, Kyogoku said that more inclusiveness is aiding game designers at Nintendo. "When I first got into the industry, into game development, it was at a time where overall, the ratio of men to women was very much in favor of men," she said. "I definitely noticed I was the only woman developer here. But it wasn't something shocking. It was something I had...

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Nintendo posts $456 million annual operating loss

Nintendo posted a 46.4 billion yen operating loss ($456 million) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, the company announced today in its fiscal earnings, marking the third consecutive annual operating loss for the company. Nintendo's net loss was 23.2 billion yen ($228 million), down from last year's net income of 7 billion yen ($71 million).  Net sales for the year were 571.7 billion yen ($5.63 billion), a 10 percent decrease from the year before, with 394.7 billion yen ($3.89 billion) of that figure from overseas sales. In January, Nintendo revealed that it expected an operating loss of 35 billion yen ($335 million) for the fiscal year, lower than the originally projected operating income of 100 billion yen ($958 million). Posting its second consecutive annual operating loss...

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Animal Crossing's creators on new console versions, mobile connectivity and fatigue

That may be why the producer and co-director of the series latest entry see Animal Crossing as a good fit for Nintendo's plans to complement its traditional games with smaller — sometimes promotional — smartphone and mobile experiences. In an interview with Animal Crossing producer Katsuya Eguchi and Animal Crossing: New Leaf co-director Aya Kyogoku, we discussed the future of the franchise, including smartphone interactivity, the series' future on home consoles and keeping the experience fresh. When we asked how well suited Animal Crossing might be for smartphones, Eguchi said that it's a commonly asked question, but that the franchise isn't a perfect fit for touchscreen-only devices. "Actually a lot of people have the same sort of idea, but contrary to what it seems like, there's a...

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf director says team diversity, communication core to its success

Her colleague at Nintendo, Animal Crossing producer Katsuya Eguchi, echoed that opinion, saying diversity on the New Leaf team contributed not only to the diversity of content in the game, it better represented the game's target audience. "When I was starting in the game industry, it wasn't uncommon to be the only woman on the entire team," Kyogoku said. "I always felt welcome and I never felt awkward. In my years at Nintendo, I have come to discover that when there are women in a variety of roles on the project, you get a wider [range] of ideas. "So when you are trying to create something that will appeal to many types of people, I have experienced how beneficial it is to have diversity on your team." "When there are women in a variety of roles on the project, you get a wider...

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Xbox One bestselling console in US last month, NPD says

Microsoft's new Xbox One was the bestselling console in the United States during the month of December, according to NPD Group data, selling more than 908,000 units in its second month on the market. While Microsoft publicly released NPD sales numbers for the month, Sony Computer Entertainment declined to provide specific data, saying in a statement, "PlayStation 4 remains the cumulative leader for next gen console sales in the U.S. since the launch on November 15. We sold every PS4 available at retail in the U.S. and were out of stock in December due to overwhelming consumer demand." Both console platforms trailed behind the Nintendo 3DS, which according to a statement from Nintendo was the bestselling video game system for the month. It was also the bestselling system for the year,...

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf devs to give postmortem talk at GDC 2014

Two lead developers on Animal Crossing: New Leaf will deliver a postmortem lecture at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, the show's organizers announced this week. The hourlong talk will be given by Aya Kyogoku, the game's director, and producer Katsuya Eguchi, both of Software Development Group 2 at New Leaf developer Nintendo EAD. Kyogoku's career at Nintendo began in 2003, and she previously worked on games such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Animal Crossing: City Folk. Eguchi has worked at Nintendo since 1986, and his resume includes Star Fox and more recent titles such as Nintendo Land. Kyogoku and Eguchi will discuss the challenges of developing a new entry in the beloved Animal Crossing franchise — delivering a game that was fresh but familiar, something that...

Video
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Animal Crossing: New Leaf trailer invites you home for Christmas

A new trailer for Animal Crossing: New Leaf invites players to take part in once-a-year festivities as winter comes to town. With snow on the ground, players can make snowmen and purchase festive outfits and items. They can also team up with Jingle the reindeer to deliver presents to their villagers come Christmas, complete with Santa Claus suit and beard. Animal Crossing: New Leaf launched on Nintendo 3DS last June. In Polygon's review, we found it "unique and inexplicably rewarding."

Culture
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Etsy artist can make your Animal Crossing characters real

Etsy user Edberg Panganiban can turn your Animal Crossing: New Leaf characters into hand-crafted figurines. Panganiban creates 3 1/2-inch tall resin figures in two categories: basic figures with simple designs and without accessories for $40 to $50 and "fine detail" figures with "intricate line work and patterns," accessories and more for $50 to $100 and above. Check out the RezArmy storefront on Etsy to see a few figures already created. You can also contact him directly for custom orders. For more on the game that inspired the figures, be sure to read Polygon's Animal Crossing: New Leaf review.

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Nintendo has no plans of bringing its games to smartphones

While Nintendo plans to use smartphones to promote its games, it has no intentions of releasing its games onto mobile platforms, senior research analyst David Gibson reported Nintendo as saying during its results meeting. The meeting follows the company's financial results for the six months ending September 2013, where the company posted a ¥23.2 billion ($187 million) operating loss. During the meeting, the company said Nintendo 3DS marketshare has increased in Japan, Europe and the U.S. reporting that the 3DS in the States has already surpassed last year's total, According to Gibson, Nintendo says more than 5 million units sold in U.S. this year with strong holiday sales expected. According to Gibson, Nintendo argued that the strong performance of the 3DS is in step with the...

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Wii U sales still have a 'negative impact' on Nintendo's profits

Poor sales of Nintendo's Wii U console still have a negative impact on the company's profits, according to its consolidated financial highlights for the six months ending September 2013, where the company posted a 23.2 billion yen ($187 million) operating loss. According to Nintendo, the Wii U still has a negative impact its profits mainly due to its markdown in the United States and Europe. Recording a gross profit of 62 billion yen, the company attributes the operating loss to its efforts in increasing Wii U sales by investing advertising, as well as conducting research and development for the console's software. Last year, Nintendo reported that poor Wii U's sales were a contributing factor to the company's 5.8 billion yen operating loss for the nine months ending December 2012. I...

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Releases
North America
  • Nintendo 3DS
    • Released 06/09/2013
    • Publisher Nintendo
    • Developer Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development
    • Score 9.0
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