Just a couple weeks ago, Nintendo dropped one of the biggest news bombshells of the year during its September Direct. At the very last moment, the most anticipated title of its flagship console was announced to be in development: Animal Crossing. This seemingly simple and charming village simulation game managed to sweep up the entire fanbase in fervent hype and zealous prayers, making the reveal one of the most shocking moments in recent video game news.
Unsurprisingly, as 2019 — the promised year — draws closer and closer, the rumor mill is working even harder. Game industry writer @Pixelpar announced earlier today (via his website) that a close source has informed him of a narrower time frame for the game’s release, specifically the possibility of a Q1 launch date.
According to his website, Lootpots, the vague and broad “2019” label Nintendo gave might be as early as the first couple months of next year. One of his sources states that the most likely date would be somewhere around late Q1 or early Q2 of 2019, or March/April for those unfamiliar with industry financial quarters.
Obviously, this is a rumor with no verifiable evidence, so it should not be taken as truth. However, the timing would not be all that off. It’s important to note that Nintendo’s upcoming first-party flagships Yoshi’s Crafted World and Fire Emblem: Three Houses were both originally slated for a 2018 release. Their placements in 2019 would not have affected Animal Crossing’s intended launch date.
Perhaps Nintendo wanted to shine a bigger spotlight on its holiday titles Pokemon Let’s Go and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and chose to space out its hits through 2019. If that were true, it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider Animal Crossing as the main system seller and anchor for the first half of 2019 before the core Pokemon Switch entry drops later next year.
In any case, any news not verified by Nintendo should always be taken with a grain of salt. Though with such a highly anticipated title like Animal Crossing, it’s almost impossible to stop the rumor mill from artificially inflating hype throughout the fandom. Whatever the case, these next months, as well as 2019, are shaping up to be some of Nintendo’s strongest since the launch of the Switch.