Japanese video game giant Nintendo told players about the creation of hits Animal crossing: New horizons to stop adding political or commercial content after various consumers around the world – including the Progressive Democrats in Hong Kong – began sending their own messages.
Nintendo told companies and organizations in a press release Thursday that they “refrain from introducing a policy into the game” and said those who violate the guidelines could be banned.
Passing animals is a hit since its release in March, with over 20 million copies sold by September. Allows users to create tools, decorations and other amenities of the creatures from scratch on their own desert islands.
However, some users have used its features to send political messages.
In Hong Kong, some players created pro-democracy and anti-government content, including banners with protest slogans such as “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time,” funeral photos of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and “beating villains” sessions aimed at Hong Kong leader Kari Lam .
Since then, the game has been downloaded from Chinese online shopping platforms on the gray market.
US President-elect Joe Biden is also among those hoping to take advantage of the game’s popularity. Biden’s campaign launched its own virtual island last month, allowing players to “volunteer” at the island’s campaign headquarters and visit polling stations. According to the new guidelines, the island is likely to be banned.
Activist Joshua Wong said HKFP that he has participated in a number of virtual protests in the game this year.
“What Animal Crossing was was not just fun during the lock, but also a reflection of real-life events. It provides an alternative when institutional channels of expression are limited, “he said.
“It’s a shame that Nintendo ignored the importance of this game.”