‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ Begins Early Worldwide Rollout on the iOS App Store [Update: Online Errors]

One month after its announcement during a Nintendo Direct in late October, Nintendo today has begun rolling out Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp onto iOS [Direct Link] and Android devices worldwide, following a limited soft launch in Australia. The game was announced to be coming out tomorrow, November 22, but it has begun appearing on the iOS App Store for some users in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, and France, and potentially other markets where it is launching.

The new game is Nintendo's fourth mobile app created in partnership with developer DeNA and follows Miitomo (launched March 2016), Super Mario Run (December 2016), and Fire Emblem Heroes (February 2017).

Similar to the latter two games, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a mobile-optimized version of its franchise's larger console games, and introduces a few new features into the traditional Animal Crossing gameplay to streamline certain actions for one-handed smartphone sessions. For example, both fishing and bug hunting are as simple as tapping on the screen, and the world that the player occupies -- centered around a campsite -- is scaled down from the villages of games like New Leaf and Wild World.

The main mechanic of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp centers on convincing animal villagers to stick around at your campsite by foraging for materials and crafting their favorite furniture. Outside of the camp, there is also a beach, river, island, and other areas that are accessible through your camper, which you can also customize and decorate to your liking. Additionally, you can visit your real friends to check out their camps to give them "kudos" on their decorations and see what items they're selling in their Market Box.

Any time you visit Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, the game will reflect the time of day and current season of the real world, and Nintendo has said it will be launching seasonal events over the holidays with exclusive furniture, outfits, and item decorations for players to collect.

Images via Touch Arcade

Nintendo's latest smartphone game is free-to-play and uses optional "Leaf Tickets" as in-game currency, but our sister site Touch Arcade got hands-on time with the game in October and found very little reason to spend real money, thanks to gameplay systems that eventually reward players with the items they want if they put in the time to get them.
You can also spend Leaf Tickets to craft any furniture you might not have the materials for, but again, the first session of the game sprays so many of these different things at you that you're really going to need to play the game for a while before you're running low on anything.

There's other "cheater" items (and I'm saying "cheater" with the absolute most exaggerated air quotes imaginable) that you can buy with Leaf Tickets too like fishing nets and honey, which are used to catch loads of fish or bugs in one go- But, it seemed like if I wanted to invest the time I could just fish and catch bugs all day, so this seems like a real weird way to spend premium currency.
Players should note that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp requires a "persistent internet" connection -- mentioned in the game's "digest" trailer -- which seems to be similar to the always online requirement of Super Mario Run. At the time of Super Mario Run's launch, Shigeru Miyamoto said that Nintendo's reasoning behind this move is to "support security" and prevent piracy.

Looking ahead, Nintendo's next mobile game is rumored to be set within The Legend of Zelda universe, although it's still unclear exactly what the gameplay would be for that app.

For more information on Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, head to Nintendo's website, and you can download the game on the iOS App Store for free beginning today [Direct Link]. For those playing on iPhone X, the game has been optimized to support the 5.8-inch display of Apple's new smartphone.

Read More at Touch Arcade: 'Animal Crossing Pocket Camp' Beginner's Guide: Free Leaf Tickets, Getting K.K. Slider, Choosing a Personal Style and More

Update 5:27 a.m. PST: Some users attempting to play the game have been met with multiple communication errors, and it's unclear at this time what might be the issue, although it could be related to a large amount of people trying to start the game following launch.


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Nintendo Sets ‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ Release Date for November 22

Nintendo on Twitter today confirmed that the company's upcoming iOS game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, will launch worldwide on November 22. The confirmation of a release date comes nearly one month after the game was first unveiled in late October, after which it soft launched on the Australian iOS App Store and climbed to the top of the charts there faster than either Super Mario Run or Fire Emblem Heroes.

When it launches later this week, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be a miniaturized version of the main games in the series, allowing players to visit and manage a campsite in lieu of a full village. At the camp, players can decorate the location with furniture to attract certain animal characters, as well as go fishing, hunt for bugs, shop, and more to complete quests and craft items to further deck out the camp.



Just like the other games in the series, time passes in real time so when you open the app the game will reflect the time of day in the real world, subsequently affecting certain bug and fish spawns and allowing for upcoming seasonal events. There's also a social aspect that allows players to visit the camps of their friends to get inspired by their designs, and sell or exchange items with them.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be free-to-play, and uses optional "Leaf Tickets" so players can bypass long wait times when they build structures, purchase the materials needed to craft furniture, and more. If you're interested in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, visit our sister site Touch Arcade to read some first impressions on the game ahead of its release on November 22.


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Nintendo Says Super Mario Run Has Yet to Reach ‘Acceptable Profit Point’ Nearly One Year After Launch

Nintendo yesterday held its quarterly earnings report [PDF], launching off with details of its "Smart-Device Business" and telling investors how things have been going for Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, while detailing the upcoming launch of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Although Fire Emblem Heroes is on track to meet the company's "overall profit objectives," Super Mario Run appears to be a disappointment in the iOS App Store for Nintendo, which stated it has "not yet reached an acceptable profit point" for the game (via The Verge).

The difference between the two apps lies in their payment structure, with Fire Emblem Heroes a free-to-download title with micro-transactions, and Super Mario Run priced at a fixed $9.99. The company noted that Super Mario Run has now hit the 200 million download mark, and Nintendo was even able to launch the app in countries "not previously reached by our dedicated video game platform business."


Unfortunately, after about 10 months on mobile devices Super Mario Run still has not made the amount of money that Nintendo predicted for the title, which was its first foray into a mobile app built around one-time payments. Still, the company said that it has "learned a lot in terms of game development and deployment," which it plans to "take advantage of moving forward."
Although we have not yet reached an acceptable profit point, we have learned a lot in terms of game development and deployment that we want to take advantage of moving forward.
For Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo said that it "listened to the voices of our consumers," leading to continual updates to the app since its launch in February. This game is on track to meet Nintendo's business and profit objectives, and new in-game events will be added soon, as well as Traditional Chinese text. The game will then expand to five more countries and regions: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao, Thailand, and Singapore.

Nintendo's newest iOS game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will follow in the footsteps of Fire Emblem Heroes, bringing in-app purchases to the free-to-download game in the form of Leaf Tickets. For the mobile version of Animal Crossing, Nintendo said that "our objective is to offer a service that allows even consumers who do not normally play games on a regular basis to have a little fun each and every day."

Nintendo's first iPhone game, Miitomo, also uses a free-to-download payment structure with in-app purchases, but the company made no mention of that game in its newest earnings report.

Earlier in the year, a senior official at Nintendo reportedly told Nikkei that the company prefers the pay-once strategy of Super Mario Run, and called the freemium aspects of Fire Emblem Heroes an "outlier" in the grand scheme of its mobile gaming plan. Even then, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima -- who presented this week's earnings report -- admitted that Super Mario Run "did not meet" the company's revenue expectations.

To entice old players to return and new players to download, Nintendo updated Super Mario Run in September with a new mode, new characters, and a 50 percent price drop. Nintendo's earnings report charts are vague, but the company noted an uptick in weekly users thanks to this September update. Prior to that, its weekly users had been dropping precipitously since April.

Ultimately, Nintendo still aims for Super Mario Run to be the "definitive Mario application for smart devices," so players can likely expect ongoing updates to the app in the future.


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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Tops Australian iOS App Store Faster Than Super Mario Run

Nintendo's newly-announced iOS game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, has soft launched in the Australian iOS App Store, a launch rollout that Nintendo has begun to favor as a way to test its iOS apps prior to a worldwide debut. According to new data gathered by Sensor Tower, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp climbed to the top of the Australian App Store much faster than either Super Mario Run or Fire Emblem Heroes.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp debuted quite high among all iPhone apps on the Australian App Store, hitting around number 2 within the first hour of its soft launch on October 25. Afterwards, the new game reached the number 1 spot on the Australian App Store within 12 hours of its debut. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is Nintendo's fourth smartphone game made in partnership with developer DeNA, following Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and Fire Emblem Heroes.

Chart via Sensor Tower
Hourly App Store category rankings from Sensor Tower App Intelligence show Nintendo’s third mobile game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, off to a strong start in its Australian soft launch on iOS. According to the data, the game reached No. 1 among all iPhone apps faster than Nintendo’s previous mobile releases, Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, hitting the impressive milestone within 12 hours of its launch on October 25.
Comparatively, Super Mario Run debuted just below the number 40 ranking. It then hit number 2 after 12 hours on the App Store in Australia, and finally obtained the number 1 spot 14 hours after its soft launch in the country last December.

Fire Emblem Heroes was ranked at number 35 at the 12 hour mark of its respective Australian soft launch earlier this year, and only made it as high as number 13 among all iPhone apps. Fire Emblem isn't quite as well-known a franchise as Mario or Animal Crossing, leading to low download rates on launch day in the United States.


Sensor Tower also reported that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is currently ranked at number 117 among the top grossing iPhone apps in Australia. The game uses "Leaf Tickets" as its form of in-app purchase, allowing players to circumvent certain lengthy wait times for item and furniture building, supplement tickets for crafting materials, add in exclusive animals to their town like Tom Nook and K.K. Slider, and more.

Next, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is set to launch worldwide in late November, although Nintendo hasn't yet confirmed a release date. You can pre-register to be notified as soon as the game hits the App Store in your supported country on Nintendo's website right here.


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Nintendo Announces Animal Crossing Pocket Camp for iOS Devices

Nintendo this evening shared details on its upcoming Animal Crossing game that's coming to iOS devices, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp.

In Pocket Camp, you manage a campsite that you can decorate with furniture and items to attract the traditional Animal Crossing villagers. When you place an animal's favorite furniture item, that animal will come to visit your campsite. Based on the Animal Crossing Pocket Camp website, the full range of animal types will be available in Pocket Camp.


The game is highly focused on crafting, and crafting is used to create the furniture items that will draw villagers to the campsite. Crafting furniture requires materials, which are earned by completing quests for your campsite visitors.


Animals will ask you to collect fruit, bugs, fish, and other items, and will reward you with crafting materials when the job's done. As with other Animal Crossing games, you can catch bugs and fish and sell them to get bells, the game's main currency.


You live in a camper, which can be customized both inside and out in the city. You can purchase furniture and new exterior paints and other options, and there are also stores for buying new outfits and accessories. Limited time and seasonal items will be available.

You can also build amenities like pools for your campsite visitors, and there are nearby recreation spots to explore for exotic bugs and fruit, like a beach and an island.


Time passes as it does in real life, so when it's morning, it's morning in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. You can visit your friends' campsites, and sell and exchange items with one another.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is a freemium game and it uses a "Leaf Ticket" currency. Leaf Tickets can be earned in games or purchased with real money. Leaf Tickets speed up building times for furniture and can be used to purchase the resources necessary to build furniture.


When you put out an animal's favorite furniture item, that animal will come visit the campsite, and when completing tasks, you can also level up your friendship with each animal.


Nintendo didn't share a specific launch date for Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, but it is set to be released in late November, so there's about a month to go before it sees a release.


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Animal Crossing Smartphone App Will Be the Focus of New Nintendo Direct Coming This Week

Following Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Super Mario Run, Nintendo appears finally ready to reveal details for its fourth iOS gaming app, Animal Crossing. The company has confirmed on its Japanese website [Google Translate] that a new Animal Crossing-focused Nintendo Direct will debut this Wednesday, October 25 at 12 p.m. local time in Japan, meaning the direct will take place on October 24 in the United States at 8 p.m. PT (via GameSpot).

The announcement has so far been shared through Nintendo's Japanese and Animal Crossing UK Twitter accounts. Anyone will be able to watch the broadcast worldwide on Nintendo's Japanese YouTube channel right here, and the company's English language YouTube channel should see the new Direct posted around the same time.

Image via Nintendo Japan

The pre-recorded broadcast will last 15 minutes and will focus on Animal Crossing's iOS application, with no news coming at this time for 3DS or Switch versions of the franchise. There also won't be any details on any other smartphone apps, according to the company's website.

Animal Crossing for iOS was first announced in April 2016, alongside Fire Emblem's iOS game, as the two newest titles in Nintendo's original goal to release five smartphone apps before March 2017. When Animal Crossing didn't show up for its original fall 2016 launch window, Nintendo delayed the game in January 2017 until its next fiscal year, running from April 2017 to March 2018. So, with the upcoming Nintendo Direct, it appears that the company is ready to debut Animal Crossing as its next iOS game, potentially before the end of the year.

After Animal Crossing -- which will be the fourth game in Nintendo's partnership with iOS developer DeNA -- rumors have suggested that the final fifth game will be one set in The Legend of Zelda universe. Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal in May predicted that Animal Crossing will hit iOS sometime "in the latter half of 2017," and a smartphone version of The Legend of Zelda would launch afterwards, so if the Animal Crossing release window is accurate there may be some veracity to Zelda being the next Nintendo IP to come to iOS devices.


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Animal Crossing Smartphone App Will Be the Focus of New Nintendo Direct Coming This Week

Following Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Super Mario Run, Nintendo appears finally ready to reveal details for its fourth iOS gaming app, Animal Crossing. The company has confirmed on its Japanese website [Google Translate] that a new Animal Crossing-focused Nintendo Direct will debut this Wednesday, October 25 at 12 p.m. local time in Japan, meaning the direct will take place on October 24 in the United States at 8 p.m. PT (via GameSpot).

The announcement has so far been shared through Nintendo's Japanese and Animal Crossing UK Twitter accounts. Anyone will be able to watch the broadcast worldwide on Nintendo's Japanese YouTube channel right here, and the company's English language YouTube channel should see the new Direct posted around the same time.

Image via Nintendo Japan

The pre-recorded broadcast will last 15 minutes and will focus on Animal Crossing's iOS application, with no news coming at this time for 3DS or Switch versions of the franchise. There also won't be any details on any other smartphone apps, according to the company's website.

Animal Crossing for iOS was first announced in April 2016, alongside Fire Emblem's iOS game, as the two newest titles in Nintendo's original goal to release five smartphone apps before March 2017. When Animal Crossing didn't show up for its original fall 2016 launch window, Nintendo delayed the game in January 2017 until its next fiscal year, running from April 2017 to March 2018. So, with the upcoming Nintendo Direct, it appears that the company is ready to debut Animal Crossing as its next iOS game, potentially before the end of the year.

After Animal Crossing -- which will be the fourth game in Nintendo's partnership with iOS developer DeNA -- rumors have suggested that the final fifth game will be one set in The Legend of Zelda universe. Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal in May predicted that Animal Crossing will hit iOS sometime "in the latter half of 2017," and a smartphone version of The Legend of Zelda would launch afterwards, so if the Animal Crossing release window is accurate there may be some veracity to Zelda being the next Nintendo IP to come to iOS devices.


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You Can Now Use the Nintendo Switch Voice Chat App While in Other Apps or When iPhone is Locked

Ahead of the Nintendo Direct coming this afternoon, Nintendo recently updated its Switch Online voice chat iOS app with a few useful tweaks to the way the software handles chatting online with friends. Prior to the update, you had to keep the app open at all times to hear and be heard by your friends while playing games like Splatoon 2.

Now, Nintendo explains in the app's update notes that you can both browse to other iPhone apps and lock the device, and voice chat will continue to function in the background through the Nintendo Switch Online app.


The expanded functionality of voice chat should greatly enhance the usefulness of Nintendo's app and online services, which will turn into a monthly paid subscription sometime in 2018. Pricing and tiers include $3.99/month, $7.99/3 months, and $19.99/year.

The app first launched on July 18, a few days ahead of Splatoon 2's debut, allowing gamers to visit SplatNet 2 on their iOS device to look at previous match statistics, check out current stages in rotation, and invite friends to Private Battles on the Switch console. Nintendo's upcoming 45-minute Direct will begin this afternoon at 3 p.m PT and plans to focus on games coming to Switch and 3DS consoles.


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‘Nintendo Switch Online’ iOS App Now Available

As Nintendo prepares to launch Splatoon 2 on July 21, it has made the Nintendo Switch Online app available in the iOS App Store. Nintendo Switch Online, first introduced earlier this month, is designed to enhance the online experience when using compatible games on the Nintendo Switch console.

At the current time, Splatoon 2 is the only game that's compatible with Nintendo Switch Online, and it will allow players to voice chat with friends, invite people to online matches, create teams, and access SplatNet 2.


SplatNet 2, designed specifically for Splatoon 2, offers up online play statistics like match results, stages, and rankings. It also lets users invite friends with Splatoon 2 to Private Battles, League Battles, and Splatfest battles across social media.

While Nintendo Switch Online is limited to Splatoon 2 right now, future games will have built in support, with Nintendo Switch Online serving as the hub for most interactive features like voice chat. When using voice chat, Nintendo says it works in different ways based on the game that's being played. Users can either chat with everyone in the room or split voice chat into teams.

The app's functionality and the Splatoon 2 online play will be available for free until the full Nintendo Switch Online service launches in 2018. Following the launch of Nintendo Switch Online, most games with online gameplay will require an ongoing subscription. Nintendo Switch Online will cost $19.99 per year or $3.99 per month with a monthly subscription.

A persistent internet connection is required to use the app, as is a Nintendo Switch console, and a Nintendo Account. Users must be at least 13 years old to download and use the app, and it won't work until Splatoon 2 is released on July 21. For now, expect to see a login error when attempting to sign in with a Nintendo account.

Nintendo Switch Online can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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Nintendo to Debut ‘Nintendo Switch Online’ iOS App Alongside Splatoon 2 on July 21

During a Nintendo Direct event this morning, Nintendo announced plans to release a new "Nintendo Switch Online" app on July 21, the release date for Splatoon 2. According to Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch Online app, available for iOS and Android, is designed to "enhance your online experience for compatible games on the Nintendo Switch console."

At launch, the only game compatible with the Nintendo Switch Online app will be Splatoon 2. The app will let users voice chat with friends, invite people to online matches, create teams, and access SplatNet 2. SplatNet2 offers up online play statistics and info on upcoming game features.

The debut of the app means Splatoon 2 and other games are unlikely to have built-in voice chat capabilities, instead requiring the separate app, but Nintendo has been promoting an upcoming headset accessory from Hori that will combine audio from the iPhone and the Nintendo Switch for a more seamless play experience.

Nintendo Switch Online for iOS will let you invite friends with Splatoon 2 to Private Battles, League Battles, and Splatfest Battles across social media and "other services," and it will support push notifications for instant alerts when an invite is received.

Though the app will launch with limited functionality, it will expand to encompass other games as Nintendo builds out its Nintendo Switch Online service.

The app's functionality and the Splatoon 2 online play will be available for free until the full Nintendo Switch Online service launches in 2018. Following the launch of Nintendo Switch Online, most games with online gameplay will require an ongoing subscription. Nintendo Switch Online will cost $19.99 per year or $3.99 per month with a monthly subscription.

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