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Nearly 800,000 Japanese Animal Crossing Sales Are Via The eShop

Don’t look now, but we think Nintendo’s digital distribution strategy is proving a success!

Somewhere in the digital ether, millions of stereoscopic villages inhabited by loopy talking animals float, unseen to the naked eye. Each of those villages has a tiny, tiny mayor. Also, each of those villages is in Japan, not that we’re insanely jealous or anything.

The success of Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Nintendo 3DS has been absolutely phenomenal so far. It clocked in as Japan’s second best-selling videogame for the entirety of 2012 across all formats even though it’s only been out a couple of months. Whilst the rest of the world waits on for the game to finally see the light of day, Japanese 3DS fans continue to snap up the game in droves.


“We’re rich! Bring me a coffee made entirely of gold!”

Of course, the key difference with this instalment in the increasingly popular Animal Crossing series is that this game is the first ever to be simultaneously distributed both at retail and via digital channels. The 3DS eShop has become instrumental in allowing Nintendo to give consumers the choice of how to play their games. So how has the eShop edition of New Leaf been faring?

According to Nintendo Everything, pretty gosh-darn nicely. It seems almost 800,000 virtual villages were founded from copies of Animal Crossing bought via digital distribution. Pretty good going!

Interestingly, a distinction is made between straight-up eShop purchases and other forms of digital purchase. Those not bought via the eShop itself were bought via the special cards sold in Japanese retail outlets giving a download code to be redeemed, whilst 500,000 were apparently direct from the eShop.

Gamers who’ve been with the 3DS since the beginning will remember the console launching without an eShop digital distribution platform at all, not to mention the painful first few weeks as the virtual shelves were slowly stocked. Nowadays the eShop is a vibrant place that even sometimes lures those hallowed smartphone developers away from the purportedly verdant fields of iOS and Android development.

And according to reports like these, Nintendo aren’t exactly doing bad out of the deal either. Ah, Nintendo… when can we see Animal Crossing: New Leaf gracing our eShops?

By on 30 January 2013
Salubriously silly indie-novelist Tony likes Nintendo, doodling cartoons and various rambunctious shenanigans. His handheld of choice is the Cosmo Black 3DS, he tweets nonsense over on @HeyTonyOfficial, and a Norwich coffee shop has named a sandwich after him.

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  1. Sam says:

    To be honest, I can see why. I’m gonna pay the extra £10 and get AC on download purely so I can have it everywhere without switching game cards – that’s a massive plus for these kind of games!

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