Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a massive hit since its launch a month ago. However, that success is being curtailed in China, as the game has been removed from sale following the appearance on in-game Hong Kong protests.
This has been an ongoing issue over the last two weeks, since the game disappeared from the hugely popular Chinese retail site, Taobao. Numerous outlets are suggesting that this is due to a governmental order.
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Gamers used an in-game tool, intended for the decoration of houses and environments, to create in-game Hong Kong protests, as you can see in the tweet below.
Activist and author of Unfree Speech, Joshua Wong, said that many Chinese Animal Crossing players have blamed him for the game’s removal.
Wong commented: “For lots of people around the world who play this game, they have to put their ideal life into the game… And for Hong Kongers, we have to put our protest movement and our protest sites inside the game” (via The Guardian).
According to a PingWest report, the ban has gone much further than just limiting sales of the game. Animal Crossing merchandise has also been affected by the ban, with Chinese gamers now unable to pick up anything Animal Crossing related online.
The report also suggests that Animal Crossing related groups on WeChat, a hugely popular Chinese social networking site, are limiting conversations about the ban on selling the game, with some participants being ejected from the online groups for discussing the situation.
Since launch, we’ve been hugely impressed by Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Trusted Reviews gave the game a rare five-star review, saying:
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the best game I’ve played this year, and immediately cements itself as one of the generation’s defining experiences. Fans will be playing it for years, watching as the seasons roll by and unveil the true potential of what has been created here.”