Nintendo bans "Animal Crossing" players from campaigning, marketing 2 months after Biden campaign creates virtual in-game island

by Joel Abbott · Nov 20th, 2020 2:51 pm

Last Updated Nov 20th, 2020 at 11:24 pm

Nintendo has banned politics from its popular "Animal Crossing" game, which boasts more than 20 million users and has been used for promotion by a variety of campaigns and organizations over the past year.

The Biden campaign used the game for a virtual promotion in September, creating an in-game island complete with characters for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and virtual yard signs that players could download to show their support.

Other political promotion that has occurred within the game included virtual protests in support of Hong Kong — causing the game to be banned in China — and Black Lives Matter, as well as "virtual visits" from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to her supporters.

Nintendo's announcement on political promotions was not the only focus of its ban. All marketing is now prohibited within the game.

"Please do not leverage the game as a marketing platform that directs people to activities or campaigns outside the game (including directing people to a sales page, distributing coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways, requiring consumers to follow social network services accounts, gathering customers' information, or other invitational activities)," said the company.

Nintendo's new guidelines also banned users from obtaining "any financial benefit" from using the game, including selling custom designs or earning ad revenue from game content.


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