dark        
spacer

Animal Crossing is so successful because of its diverse team

0

7.3 million sales don't lie

Almost half of the people that worked on Animal Crossing: New Leaf are women. When its director Aya Kyogoku started with Nintendo in 2003, she was the only female game designer there. A decade later and that's no longer the case.

Both she and New Leaf producer (and original Animal Crossing director) Katsuya Eguchi credited the series' success on the diversity of teams making them in a GDC postmortem. When Eguchi was leading the first game, he made a point to compile a team with people "from various backgrounds and with various life experiences."

With more women at Nintendo, Kyogoku had an even more diverse staff. "Diversity in the development team contributed to diversity in the content," they concurred. New Leaf has sold 7.38 million units worldwide -- more than award juggernaut The Last of Us. Maybe they're onto something.

It wasn't just a diversity of staff, but having the mindset and culture to benefit from the diversity. Ryogoku channeled Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma noting that with New Leaf, the team "had to change and innovate" and "looked closely at series fatigue" after the more tepidly received City Folk.

Wild World, which embraced the same starting formula (indentured servitude and predatory loan practices), sold ten times more than the GameCube Animal Crossing. That, "made us too afraid to change the formula," Ryogoku said. "Mistakenly we assumed that we should continue to utilize [the starting flow]."

Revitalizing the franchise post City Folk "wouldn't be as simple as changing something on the surface or adding content." Instead, the team sought after what it felt was the "root" of the series. "One phrase that sums it up: Animal Crossing is a communication tool."

So the team worked on features that encourage communication. The Best Friend system that lets players see if their friends are online and allows for chat between towns and the integrated screenshot sharing, for instance.

And while Animal Crossing as a communication tool seems weird, the warm sincerity around its release was a highlight of last year. Ryogoku says it can "harmonize interpersonal relationships," and that was true for months. Even at E3 the bitterest of us were sharing native fruit. Twitter was full of screenshots and conversation. I downloaded the game excitedly at 9PM the day before release (West Coast best coast).

It was just kind of nice, much like New Leaf.


You are logged out. Login | Sign up

 
 

 

TwitterRedditEmailFacebook
 
Steven Hansen
Steven HansenContributor   gamer profile

Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more + disclosures


 



Also on destructoid: Animal Crossing: New Leaf   (18)   From our database:

  • Here's what's new in Animal Crossing's huge update - Kevin McClusky
  • There's an Animal Crossing-centric Nintendo Direct this week - Chris Carter
  • Animal Crossing update includes a free lawnmower - Kevin McClusky
  • Nintendo takes down anot- OMG Hello Kitty amiibo Cards - CJ Andriessen
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf is getting a massive amiibo-based update this year - Chris Carter
  • Cute ass Isabelle Animal Crossing toy being re-released - Steven Hansen
  • Go rock this unofficial Splatoon outfit in Animal Crossing - Chris Carter
  • Laura Shigihara does a song for Animal Crossing's cafe pigeon Brewster - Darren Nakamura
  • This Isabelle purse is absolutely adorable - Brittany Vincent
  • More related stories
    Filed under... #3ds #Animal Crossing #nintendo

    READER COMMENTS LOADING BELOW...


    LET'S KEEP THE COMMUNITY GREAT


    You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!



     
     
  •