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Nintendo publishes Animal Crossing guidelines for businesses

The platform holder asked organisations to "refrain from bringing politics" into New Horizons

Nintendo published guidelines for businesses and organisations using Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a platform.

According to these guidelines, companies using the game are allowed to share custom designs with other players, invite them to their island, and share their 'dream address' (which allows players to visit each other without having to use the in-game airport).

Businesses can also upload screenshots or game footage to "family-friendly" websites, Nintendo said, as well as social networks.

However, Nintendo warned companies about taking part in activities that go beyond the game's rating (PEGI 3).

"Please refrain from using the game inappropriately or creating any content within the game that would be considered vulgar, discriminatory, or offensive," the guidelines read.

Interestingly, Nintendo also asked organisations to "refrain from bringing politics into the game." US president-elect Joe Biden and its campaign team created yard signs in Animal Crossing in September, ahead of the presidential election, and launched their own island in October. Under Nintendo's new rules, this type of content would no longer be allowed.

Nintendo also asked companies to not use Animal Crossing as a marketing platform "that directs people to activities or campaigns outside the game." That includes "directing people to a sales page, distributing coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways, requiring consumers to follow social network services accounts, gathering customers' information, or other invitational activities."

Since New Horizon launched in March, various companies in and outside of the industry have used the game as a way to promote their own product, event or even job positions at their company. According to the new rules, these would also no longer be allowed.

Finally, Nintendo asked companies to not seek financial benefit from the game or share "false information" about it or "deceive others" by for instance pretending they're officially associated with the platform holder.

Companies not respecting these guidelines may be prohibited to access the game in the future, Nintendo said. It added that it may be revising these rules later down the line, as the community evolves. For more information about monetisation of content using footage from Animal Crossing, Nintendo invited users to read their guidelines for online video and image sharing platforms.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been Nintendo's biggest success this year. It drove the platform holder's Q1 profit up 500% to $1 billion, was the most discussed game on Twitter as of August, and the best-selling Switch game of all time in Japan.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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