Nintendo has applied to further their trademark of the Animal Crossing franchise in Japan, hinting at an upcoming Switch title for the series. The updated trademark mentions a number of products, such as software, toys, trading cards, and more. While trademark renewals are often standard procedure, Nintendo recently did so before the release of the mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, so why renew now if not for some major new content coming down the pipeline?
The Animal Crossing trademark application was filed a few days ago and shared by Japanese Nintendo. The trademark, as translated by Japanese Nintendo, lists a variety of purposes including software for a home video game machine, portable electronic game machine, and smartphone devices, as well as stuffed animals, game machine controllers, board games, playing cards, protective carrying cases, trading card games, and “much more.”
If “software for a home video game machine” doesn’t scream “Animal Crossing Switch edition,” I don’t know what does. The mention of software for a “portable electronic game machine” could indicate a new title coming to the 3DS as well, or it could be a reference to the Switch’s hybrid nature. I could definitely see Nintendo doing a dual release of the next Animal Crossing game, as many players of New Leaf are loyal to their 3DS devices and have not yet upgraded to the Switch.
Animal Crossing is one of Nintendo’s major IP’s, so it would be no surprise — but definitely a delight — to see it coming to the company’s innovative new console in the near future. More amiibo cards and themed Switch carrying cases would be welcome announcements as well. The team behind the Splatoon series also develops Animal Crossing titles for Nintendo, so maybe they are finally transitioning away from Splatoon 2 maintenance and on to a brand new game for us.
We could see an Animal Crossing Switch reveal soon, but I wouldn’t get my hopes too high until E3 later this year in June. We’ll keep you updated on the latest news coming from Nintendo.
Dual release won’t happen, the 3DS in Japan has dropped so massively, because unlike Westerners, they see the Switch as the 3DS’s successor, and Japan is where Animal Crossing sells the most copies.