Nintendo's original pitch for Animal Crossing mobile was very different

Plan A.

Nintendo's latest mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp had a lengthy, delayed road to release - that much is widely known. But what fans may not realise is how much the project changed from initial concept to release.

Essentially, Pocket Camp started life as a different game altogether. In a new Unseen64 video, this early version is described with the internal working title "Animal Crossing: Town Planner".

(It's not a name I've heard myself, but the rest of the video chimes with details gleaned over the past year from sources close to the company.)

As the name suggests, Town Planner was meant to focus on you laying down buildings to please town inhabitants, with less of a focus on interaction from the player. You could, however, view the towns of other players to compare.

I've heard it described as having been much closer to 3DS spin-off Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer - which received a mixed response.

Pocket Camp as it exists now is pretty simplistic - but Town Planner was more so. The project was not well received internally - and so Nintendo around autumn last year Nintendo decided to delay it and rework the project from the ground up. Some assets could be reused, I've heard, but the gameplay was changed.

It's natural for games to alter through development, of course. It's just unusual for Nintendo to publicly announce and date a project (back in April 2016 for launch that autumn) and then delay it to ensure it could be rebuilt so dramatically.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

News Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


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