I'm sure when Nintendo first released Animal Crossing back in 2001 on the Nintendo 64/GameCube the company wasn't sure how well it would be received. How many people want to play a community situation video game set in a village inhabited by animals, anyway?
Four games and 30 million sales later and it's clear Nintendo knew what it was doing 16 years ago. Now Animal Crossing is heading to mobile devices, and the player count is sure to surpass 30 million in no time at all.
Revealed yesterday, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is heading to Android (4.2+) and iOS (9.0+) devices in late November. The game has been in development for two years at Nintendo's Entertainment & Planning Division and will be free-to-play with in-game item purchases available.
If you've played an Animal Crossing game before, Pocket Camp is going to feel very familiar. It looks as though Nintendo successfully made the transition to free-to-play while retaining the core gameplay everyone loves. But of course, the game needs to generate revenue, and that's where Leaf Tickets come in.
The goal of the game is to "create the campsite of your dreams" along the way "exploring nature, making friends, and collecting cool items." Those items are purchased with Leaf Tickets which can be acquired for free through gameplay, but also purchased using microtransactions. 20 Leaf Tickets cost $0.99, 45 cost $1.99, 100 cost $3.99, and 200 cost $7.99. Regular discounts for buying more also seems likely.
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Nintendo is advertising the game as suitable for all ages, so it will be up to parents to regulate those Leaf Ticket purchases for younger players. There will also be nine language options spread between English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese.
The exploration, collecting, crafting, and customization elements of the game are sure to keep players entertained for months. But Nintendo is also pushing the social aspects of the game. You can meet up with friends, visit each other's campsites, and trade. Expect regular seasonal events, costumes, and other limited time items/offers to keep you coming back (and buying ever more Leaf Tickets).