The coronavirus and its associated disease COVID-19 continue to cause problems for the gaming world. According to Animal Crossing head honchos Aya Kyogoku and Hisashi Nogami, Animal Crossing: New Horizons updates may end up being delayed as a result of the virus.
This news comes courtesy of an interview with Kyogoku and Nogami conducted by the Washington Post. Like most of the world, Japan has been adversely affected by the coronavirus; cases in the country currently stand at over 1,000. Right now, the Animal Crossing: New Horizons team is working in the office daily, but their hours have changed to offset rush-hour traffic. Kyogoku and Nogami say they "have to be flexible" when it comes to shifting development updates or ongoing work on the game. Nogami says he has to think about the team's "health and well-being" as well as how quickly updates are rolled out.
It's not all coronavirus-related concern in the interview, though. Kyogoku and Nogami also shared some insight into why certain big changes like gender expression, terraforming, and crafting were added to the game. According to Kyogoku, crafting was added to accommodate players with unusual play hours so that they can find new ways to play and acquire craftable items.
Terraforming, meanwhile, was introduced as a way of giving players more control over their island's aesthetic. In previous Animal Crossing games, Kyogoku and Nogami noticed players resetting their game to get the island layout they wanted. Terraforming was intended to address this and give players the option to sculpt their island without starting over (and enraging Mr. Resetti).
Then there's gender expression. Animal Crossing: New Horizons doesn't limit players to certain items or hairstyles based on gender. Kyogoku says the team feels society is shifting to "valuing a lot of people's different identities". Animal Crossing is intended to make gender optional for the player; they can think about it or they can ignore it depending on their preference.
There's lots more fascinating stuff in the Washington Post interview, so we recommend you check it out if you want more insight into the world of Animal Crossing development. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released on Friday. You can pick it up on the Nintendo eShop right now.
How are you liking Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Are you enjoying the game? Let us know in the comments below!