Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is Japan’s Second Best-Selling Game of All Time

People Love Getting Back to Nature

As serious as gaming can be, with developers like Naughty Dog, Square Enix, or Bethesda routinely using the medium to tell hard-hitting and complex stories, and arguably elevating video games into an art form to stand alongside film, television, and literature in its capacity for storytelling, it’s easy to forget that some of the more popular games of all time are decidedly more lighthearted. Whether you’re saving a princess from a turtle dragon, traveling the country with a team of super powered pets, or just slotting blocks together, millions of people enjoy games for their fun and escapism, and arguably Animal Crossing is one of the most escapist games there is.

Animal Crossing New Horizons

Strangely for a game series that routinely finds you working to pay off a debt, the game’s focus on a simpler time just might be the joyous nostalgia you’re looking for, and Japan seems to agree. With some of the longest working hours on the planet and a word created to describe death by overwork (Karoshi), it’s easy to see the appeal of a game where you can spend your days fishing, farming, and just generally getting back to nature. The fact that you can visit other’s islands, with even celebrities and politicians like Danny Trejo, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Brie Larson joining in on the fun, only helps cement its popularity, not only giving us a peek into the islands of people who’s work we follow but inviting them to see ours.

As per twitter, the game had sold just 20,000 fewer copies than Pokemon Gold and Silver, likely outselling each game individually, although Pokemon generations are often lumped together as one game. The game has reportedly sold a further 350,000 copies, leaving only the original Pokemon generation (Red, Blue, and Green) as a competitor.

Again, it’s possible that the game has sold more copies than any one, or even all of the games individually, especially since Pokemon Blue was a later, updated entry in the generation, but since the generation is considered one game as a whole there’s still a few million copies to go. Considering it managed to overtake so many classic games in less than five months, it’s possible that it could reach the number one spot a lot sooner than anyone could have expected.

How are you finding New Horizons? How about dropping your Dodo Code on Twitter, Facebook, or down in the comments to get some more visitors to your island.