With the launch of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons summer update wave 2, players are now able to upload dream states of their islands. These are effectively cloud saves of your island and can be explored by anyone. Now there has been a spate of Nintendo deleting hacked islands in the game. The thing is — Nintendo seems to only have found these islands due to YouTuber Verlisify.
The idea behind Animal Crossing: New Horizons dream state islands is that nothing is permanent. You can go to someone’s island and pick all of their fruit and weeds but not actually steal from them. However, your island is uploaded in its entirety, which includes any and all hacked items. This makes it especially easy to analyze an island for any evidence of cheating. As a result, Nintendo has been sending emails to a number of players, telling them that their islands have been deleted for breaching terms of service.
Nintendo apparently isn’t deleting the island on the player’s local system. Instead this slew of Nintendo deleting hacked islands is restricted to dream states, preventing sharing through that means, but players can continue to play normally.
According to Switcher.GG, the number of islands being deleted increased significantly when YouTuber Verlisify started making videos about them. The YouTuber himself reports the islands, but it seems like his community may well be doing the same. This is prompting swift action from Nintendo. However, some of the people watching his videos definitely don’t agree with his actions, which is clear from their comments.
What the situation has revealed is a flaw in the reporting system. Whilst some islands are clearly hacked, others may not be. If these islands are reported and deleted, players have no way to appeal the decision Nintendo has made. Maybe with this recent bout of island deletions, Nintendo will implement an appeal system in the future.