Nintendo has published a set of new guidelines informing businesses and organizations how they may use Animal Crossing: New Horizons as part of their operations. Among those rules is a request that businesses “refrain” from using the game for political purposes.
The full guidelines are split into two segments; permitted and prohibited activities. In the section covering things Nintendo wishes business to avoid, the company asks “Please refrain from using the Game inappropriately or creating any content within the Game that would be considered vulgar, discriminatory, or offensive. Please also refrain from bringing politics into the Game.”
The guidelines do not elaborate on what Nintendo means by ‘politics’, so it’s unclear if it refers purely to the use of Animal Crossing in reference to government politics, or if this applies to the wider social political landscape. It is possible that this specific clause has been created in response to the Joe Biden campaign in the recent US election, which hosted an island with information on the Biden Harris campaign and instructions on how to vote.
Nintendo has made it clear that it intends to take action against any business it deems to have broken these guidelines. “If we see your activity is not following these guidelines or is damaging or having bad influence on the community, we may ask you to stop such activity or usage of our contents, and take appropriate actions, including prohibiting your future business usage of the Game,” the company said.
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As for what businesses can do with Animal Crossing, Nintendo stipulates that they may provide custom designs to other players provided they are not sold for financial gain, Dream Addresses may be sent to other players, island invites can be sent, and screenshots/gameplay clips can be uploaded to websites and social media.
It should be noted that these guidelines are for businesses, not for the general public. There are no specific rules that target political protesting from an individual player’s game.
For more, be sure to take a look at everything coming in the Animal Crossing November update, and all the new and leaving critters and villager birthdays in November.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.