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Nintendo announces Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for smartphones

Nintendo announces Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for smartphones

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Nintendo has announced Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for smartphones, due for release on iOS and Android in late November. The title looks much like other games in the Animal Crossing series, which traditionally see your character moving to a new location, interacting with the animal inhabitants, and customizing your home. This time around there's a camping theme, though — you're building up a campsite, which could make it seem a little smaller scale than the cities and towns in the full console releases.

The main focus of Pocket Camp appears to be crafting furniture from materials found in various areas, and your camper van home is as customizable as you'd expect. You're able to meet up with other players from your friends list and trade items. The game features free-to-play staples like countdown timers and microtransactions, as you'd expect.

If executed well, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has the potential to be Nintendo's biggest mobile hit yet. Despite being based on a relatively niche franchise, Fire Emblem Heroes turned out to be more successful than Super Mario Run due to its free-to-play business model. Animal Crossing is an even more natural fit for smartphones, with its focus on communication, daily play, and small in-game purchases, and the series has proven mainstream appeal — the DS and 3DS games, Wild World and New Leaf, both sold over 11 million copies worldwide.

A mobile version of Animal Crossing has been in the works for quite some time. It was announced a year and a half ago and was originally set to be one of four smartphone games released by March 2017, but Nintendo only managed to deliver Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run in that timeframe. Today's news means that Nintendo no longer has any announced mobile titles on the horizon; the company reports earnings next week and often uses the occasion to talk about its mobile initiatives, however, so we could hear something soon enough.