The information comes via an earnings report from Nintendo, which stated that Animal Crossing is now planned to launch next fiscal year. That period begins April 1, meaning that the wait could be negligible. It doesn’t appear that performance or design problems are to blame for the move, but rather that Nintendo wants more time for Fire Emblem Heroes and the Android version of Super Mario Run to breathe.
Nintendo has given very little concrete information on the mobile version of Animal Crossing thus far, but has said the game “will be connected with the world of Animal Crossing for dedicated gaming systems.” With no game announced for the Switch thus far, this likely means connectivity with Animal Crossing: New Leaf for 3DS. Nintendo also said that it would feature “more prominent game elements” than the social application Miitomo, which is similar in some design aspects to the Animal Crossing series.
Mobile devices seem like the perfect fit for Tom Nook and his friends. It will allow players to control certain aspects of their towns for a few minutes at a time before going about their day. The series has thus far appeared on the GameCube, Wii, DS, and 3DS, with spinoffs on both the 3DS and Wii U.
The last two Animal Crossing releases haven’t exactly been met with the fanfare and acclaim that the series has experienced in the past. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer was called “boring” and “repetitive,” while the party game Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival was largely reviled and compared unfavorably to the Mario Party series.