E3 2019 may be over and done, but there are still a few news bits left to cover! The next Animal Crossing game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, was finally revealed during Nintendo's E3 Direct last week, and during their Treehouse Live following that reveal, they showed off a bit of how the game looks/plays. As part of that demonstration, they also announced that there would be a lot of ways to play the game with friends and family.
There are a number of co-op details that weren't made clear during the course of this demonstration (such as how you invite people to your island, what other players can do there, if online players can access the island when you're not around, etc), but here's a quick rundown of the few bits of information they gave, which starts around the 15:00 mark in the video below:
- 8 Players Max Per Island - the general gist of the game is that you buy a "Deserted Island Package" from Tom Nook and head off to an island void of inhabitants where you can start building your own little paradise, and eventually attract other folks (NPCs) to join you. Each island can also accommodate a total of 8 other players to help you gather materials and craft a variety of items to place around the island.
- 4 Player Couch Co-Op - 4 of those 8 people can all play together on one Switch with one Joy-Con per person.
- 8 Player Online or WLAN Co-Op - if couch co-op isn't your thing, then friends can join you via an online connection, OR friends can also join you in the same room with their own Switches and copies of the game using wireless LAN. The two are exclusive, i.e., players can join you via an online connection, or a WLAN connection, but not both. However, if you and your co-op partner want to play the game with your buddy, their partner, and their two kids, then good news!
- 8 Player Combo Co-Op - the 8 player max accepts any mix of couch and online or WLAN co-op. So, 2 players on a Switch can be joined by 4 players on another Switch via an online connection, and still would have space for 2 other players to join them.
- One Player Is Host And "Directs" The Action - this is where there weren't a ton of details provided and more are needed. When a second player joins the game in the gameplay demo, that player helps the host player chop trees and hunt for materials that are used in crafting. The second player never gathers up materials (presumably they could, though?) and if they want to open up their inventory, it appears that they need to be made the host. As host, the camera follows that player and lets them open their inventory and do crafting. Presumably, this is just a limitation of the couch co-op setup. Again, more details are needed and we'll certainly be looking for more news about how all this works as they provide it.
- A quick side-note: something they briefly mention is that it sounds like couch co-op players are all on the same island and can access that island even if the player that originally setup that island isn't playing. For instance, if you create a new island in the game on your Nintendo account and invite your kid, who has their own account, to that island, your kid will be able to play and do things on that island when you're not around. Not 100% sure on this, so again, we'll be keeping an eye/ear out for more details about all this.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be making its way to the Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020.