Animal Crossing: New Horizons is barely over a year old. Having debuted in March 2020, it quickly became one of the most popular games on the market, and even all-time, in terms of Nintendo units.
Players ranged from kids to adult celebrities, and the game truly took the world by storm. So why did Nintendo egregiously ignore the game at their E3 2021 showcase?
Animal Crossing players were expecting something big from E3, and at the very least, they were expecting something. Maybe a small update, an announcement of some kind, or anything. But they were left high and dry. It's a shocking omission and it begs the question, is Animal Crossing: New Horizons dead?
Animal Crossing future
The short answer to that question is no, probably not. While the absence of even a mention of Animal Crossing casts a dark shadow over E3 2021, this was not the end of the road for the game.
The shortest distance between releases for the storied Nintendo franchise was three years between Wild World and City Folk. New Leaf released eight years before New Horizons did, so this game isn't going to be obsolete any time soon. Nintendo games infamously have a long shelf life, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons is no different. This game will remain active for probably a very long time.
New Horizons is second only to Mario Kart 8D in terms of units sold, and that game is two years older than New Horizons, so the idea that Nintendo is abandoning perhaps its biggest money-maker is pretty far-fetched.
The Animal Crossing community is certainly disappointed, and rightfully so. Nintendo ignored their game in favor of a lot of smaller games and even spent valuable screen time talking about games they'd already announced and given release dates to - Mario Golf: Super Rush and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD.
Still, E3 isn't the only time Nintendo makes announcements. They could feasibly announce an update tomorrow and it wouldn't really surprise anyone. They may even see the backlash and speed up that process.
The point is, the game isn't dead, and it's probably not dying any time soon. There will still be seasonal updates and events and who knows, maybe a big update is on the horizon(s).