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Nintendo: Animal Crossing delay means avoiding crunch

Doug Bowser says Nintendo will delay games to ensure "employees have good work-life balance"

The delay to Animal Crossing: New Horizons is in keeping with Nintendo's stance on crunch, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser has said.

The new Animal Crossing game has been delayed until March 2020, despite the company telling investors and gamers that it would launch in 2019.

The news was announced during the company's E3 Nintendo Direct yesterday, but Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser offered some clarity on the reason why in a subsequent interview with IGN.

"For us, one of our key tenets is that we bring smiles to people's faces, and we talk about that all the time," he said. "For us, that applies to our own employees. We need to make sure that our employees have good work-life balance.

"One of those examples is, we will not bring a game to market before it's ready. We just talked about one example [in Animal Crossing's delay]. It's really important that we have that balance in our world. It's actually something we're proud of."

While crunch is now a widely derided practice in the industry, the importance of delaying a key product to a publicly traded company cannot be underestimated. Along with Pokémon Sword and Shield, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was one of NIntendo's key releases of this fiscal year.

The new March 20, 2020 launch date will give it less than two weeks to contribute to the company's full-year results.

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Latest comments (2)

Michael Harrell Studying CS, University of Utah4 months ago
Worth it. Good choice, Nintendo!
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James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada4 months ago
Good. It'll be worth the wait.
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