Animal Crossing: New Horizons will become unplayable in 37 years

If you’re looking forward to playing Animal Crossing during your retirement you better hope Nintendo makes a new one soon.

Nintendo is famous for their strange and inscrutable decisions but deciding to end all support for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, after less than two years, is definitely one of their most inexplicable.

New Horizons is the second best selling Switch game, at 42 million copies sold, and very easy to update with new items and characters. Because Nintendo stopped adding new features, though, it’s now stuck in amber forever. Or at least until the space year 2060, when it’ll stop working completely.

That’s what fans think anyway, after experiments with the date settings on the Nintendo Switch revealed that it refuses to run the game from 2061 onwards.

The game even has a specific error message, telling you to change the date on the console. So theoretically it could still work if you change the Switch’s date to pretend it’s somewhere between 2000 and 2060.

Why exactly the game won’t run after that date isn’t clear, but it probably has something to do with its internal clock, which is supposed to keep in step with the actual time and date in the real world.

It’s all very odd but you can guarantee there will be a new Animal Crossing before then. Although it’s hard to guess when exactly the next one will be.

The most obvious assumption is that, given the game’s unexpected level of success, Nintendo want a new title for their next console as soon as possible.

Most predictions suggest that the their new console will be released next year, or perhaps even this Christmas, but it seems unlikely a new Animal Crossing would be ready quite that soon.

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