Nintendo’s Self-Promotion Tools for Prosumers
Nintendo has a new tool that lets Animal Crossing: New Horizons players promote the digital island hangouts they have created in the game across the social web.
The pandemic smash hit (31 million sales to date) is a life simulator. Players move to an island populated by animal townspeople, where they get to work building a home, working the land, and travelling between islands to hang out with human player friends. Nintendo marked the one-year anniversary of the game with the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island Tour Creator, a ready-made tool that lets players promote the digital worlds they created to those outside the game. Users log into their Nintendo account to access footage and photos they captured in-game. A suite of video- and image-editing tools then lets them create promotional materials to invite people from across all social platforms to come and visit their islands.
Letting players promote their own creative work across the internet is a savvy move by Nintendo to maximise the value of its prosumer community. Over the past year, Animal Crossing's cartoon world has become a thriving creative hub for in-game artworks and designer costumes as well as events from brands and fans alike (see Creative Content: Fandom Fills the Gap and Gillette's Inclusive Game Skins).
These creative liberties make gaming platforms ideal environments for user-generated content from small and hyper-engaged peer communities, whose impact we detailed in Mobilising Online Microcultures. For more on how gaming content is crossing over into all aspects of entertainment, see PlayStation Unveils Game-Changing User Interface and Gamescom 2020: Key Gaming Directions.