Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched back in March, and since then, brands have jumped into the cozy virtual world to do everything from releasing streetwear to organizing voters. Now, however, Nintendo has decided to implement some rules that restrict some of what companies can do in the game. That includes keeping things family-friendly, not using Animal Crossing as a marketing tool, and, most notably, keeping politics out of the game. […]
The most surprising restriction, though, is when Nintendo says to “please also refrain from bringing politics into the game.” This would presumably include things like the elaborate virtual headquarters made by the Joe Biden campaign ahead of this year’s US presidential election. Nintendo says that the only way to get around these rules is “with the separate and express, written permission of Nintendo.”
On the one hand, I can see Nintendo wanting to keep Animal Crossing as a kind of escape from the real world. I don’t want to see angry orange presidents popping up in my games. On the other hand, Animal Crossing is this weird gray area between social and gaming, and maybe that needs to allow for a little real world commentary now and again.