Following lots of complaints and backlash over the one-time save data recovery option in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Nintendo uploaded a new version of the game’s recent Direct, this time without any reference to the unpopular restriction. Beforehand, Nintendo Switch Online subscribers were able to revive their saves on a new Switch only if their previous save was lost to a damaged or stolen console. This policy, no doubt stemming from Nintendo’s absurdly backward approach to all things 21st century, has been appropriately lambasted.
An attentive Redditor spotted the differences in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct and reported their findings on the Nintendo Switch subreddit, posting two screencaps showing the Direct’s past and current language on save data recovery. The changes take place with super tiny text at the 25:43 mark, where the new video replaces the one-time recovery restriction with a vague “[m]ore details on save data recovery functionality will be shared at a future date.”
In an ideal world, this would mean that Nintendo is having second thoughts about shooting themselves and Animal Crossing: New Horizons in the foot with such a restrictive policy. That’s what I am going to hope for, but it would have been more reassuring if Nintendo had made a public statement instead of sneakily backtracking. With how badly they’ve fumbled the execution of Nintendo Switch Online, as well as their weird fear of accessible cloud saves, I will not be surprised if they end up insufficiently addressing these criticisms. Hopefully, we hear a bit more from Nintendo soon, confirming some response to the community’s well-guided complaints.
Outside of this save data debacle, I’m really quite excited for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. On all fronts, it’s looking like an engrossing, deep dive into life sims and island-building. I’m gonna get absolutely lost in that world, and I can’t wait. Ideally, my island will survive if my Switch suffers any unfortunate thieving or long falls, but we’ll see what Nintendo’s got planned.