Nintendo has historically been protective of its intellectual property. Sometimes in ways that fans call particularly harsh, as the developers quash fan projects or even get content creators to change their usernames. But now they've put a ban on using cutesy sim game Animal Crossing: New Horizons being used for politics.
Spotted by Eurogamer, Nintendo has published guidelines for companies that want to use Animal Crossing as a place for promoting content. The main allowances that Nintendo is fine with, are distributing custom designs to players that involve your brand, inviting players to an island owned by the brand, and uploading in-game footage of the game in a family-friendly capacity.
Companies are not allowed to use Animal Crossing: New Horizons in a way that promotes activities that go beyond the age rating of the game, nor are they allowed to use the game in conjunction with false information. Companies can't use the game to make money from selling anything through it either. But the big questions are surrounding one bullet point around politics and the game.
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"Please refrain from using the Game inappropriately or creating any content within the Game that would be considered vulgar, discriminatory, or offensive. Please also refrain from bringing politics into the Game."
Now, this is pretty subjective and feels like it should be two different statements. Vulgarity, discrimination, and offence aren't necessarily tied to politics, but then the question lies in what Nintendo deems to be either offensive or political.
We know that President-elect Joe Biden's island and all his in-game merch is probably now against the rules of Nintendo's policies, but it enters greyer territory with other campaigns - for example, is PETA using ACNH to promote that company's beliefs political? We guess we won't know until someone crosses the line to see how Nintendo responds in the future.
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