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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’s newest update is upsetting its fans

After player complaints, Gulliver’s boat will be tweaked to be more like the old version

Visiting “Chadder and Pals’ Island” requires 200 points worth of rare items in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Nintendo via Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’s latest update has taken a system that was used for recycling duplicate items and obtaining new villagers and transformed it into a material-eating cash grab.

Gulliver, the lovable seagull from the other games, heads out to sea in search of treasure for players. Before yesterday’s update, players could give him duplicate or unwanted furniture, and he’d travel and bring back snacks or new villagers, if you were lucky. After the changes, Gulliver now requests specific items, with new villagers locked behind items that cost rare materials in order to craft.

Once you fill up the boat with expensive items, you may bring back a map that lets you unlock a new villager. If you don’t get it, you’ll have to reload the boat with more expensive items and try again, or you can pay the game’s premium currency to try to pick another random reward.

This change is disheartening as players who don’t have the rare materials on hand will now have to spend Leaf Tickets, the game’s premium currency, to get them. Players can earn a low trickle of Leaf Tickets from completing events and missions, though most players will have to resort to buying them with real money. Originally new villagers were also simply added to the game, but later updates made it so players had to participate in Random Number Generation (RNG)-based systems in order to unlock them.

The changes to Gulliver’s boat is just the latest change to outrage the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp fanbase. Nintendo has added a plethora of bad changes to the game overtime that hurt free-to-play players. Event items that originally could be crafted with the game’s free currency are now only buy-able with Leaf Tickets. Event items have also become less original and often feature recolored versions of other furniture. The replies to the announcement tweet are filled with irritated players. The front page of the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp subreddit, which is usually filled with people sharing their outfits, favorite villagers, or campsite set-ups, is now flooded with angry memes and complaints.

“Whoever was in charge of designing the Gulliver update seriously dropped the ball on this one,” said user NanaNiiiall. “They have taken a useful mechanic of getting rid of duplicates from cookies and inventory clutter to exchange for snacks and potentially villager maps, and instead have turned it into another cash-grab where you have to spend all your resources for the chance of receiving something you want, or making any return on your investment,”

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has been a decent way to fill the Animal Crossing-shaped hole in the hearts of fans, especially with New Horizons still months away, but it seems like fans might abandon the game much earlier.

Update (Sept. 20): According to an in-app notice, Gulliver’s update will be tweaked based on player complaints. It will be changed so players will be able to “give random furniture or clothing to any island” and the prizes will be adjusted. There’s no time window for when these changes come through, but it might be smart to hold off on spending too many resources on Gulliver until this update comes through.