Joe Biden & Kamala Harris Campaign Distribute Yard Signs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

The Joe Biden and Kamala Harris US presidential campaign organizers have distributed yard signs for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

The Verge reports the Biden-Harris campaign have released QR Codes for custom designs in the game. These can be used for the game’s signs, though the designs can be used on certain furniture, and clothes.

The QR code can be scanned through the Nintendo Switch Online app. Christian Tom,the  director of digital partnerships for the Biden campaign, explained the idea behind the promotion to The Verge.

“Animal Crossing is a dynamic, diverse, and powerful platform that brings communities together from across the world. It is an exciting new opportunity for our campaign to engage and connect Biden-Harris supporters as they build and decorate their islands. As we enter the final campaign stretch towards November, this is one way we are finding new creative and innovative ways to meet voters where they are and bring our supporters together.”

The Verge also reports the Biden-Harris campaign organizers will be sending the design to “a handful of gaming influencers” who will be sharing gameplay with the signs. “This is just the start of how we plan to engage players ahead of November,” Tom stated, “as we’re already looking forward to rolling out more digital swag, voter education tools, and organizing efforts on Animal Crossing and other platforms.”

The move is reminiscent of when US 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stated “I don’t know who created Pokémon Go, but I want to figure out how to get them to have Pokémon Go-to-the-polls!” in reference to the popularity of Pokemon Go. 

Back in October 2019, Team Trump (a group set up for President Trump’s presidential campaigns) had created a Twitch account to broadcast the Trump’s speeches from rallies. He was temporarily banned from Twitch in late June, over allegedly “hateful conduct” via re-broadcasting his Presidential announcement speech.

The use of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is hardly surprising, given the game’s popularity. The game sold 1.8 million physical units in its first three days on sale in Japan (making it the best opening week for a Nintendo Switch game), and analysts later claimed the game sold 5 million digital copies over March 2020 (more than any other console game in history).

Later it was revealed the game sold 11.77 million units in its first 11 days on sale, and 13.4 million in its first six weeks. In mid-May it had become the fastest selling Nintendo Switch game in Japan. It later became the best selling game in Japan’s first half of 2020, with over an estimated 5 million physical copies sold.

As of June 30th, the game has sold over 22 million units. Later it was revealed that the game outsold Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver in Japan. This made it the second best selling game in Japan of all time.

This is not the first time the game has brushed against politics either. The game was reportedly banned across China.

While there was no confirmation as to why, the prevailing theory is that it was due to the game allowing users to express messages the Chinese government would usually ban, such as support for the Free Hong Kong protests. The Premier of Taiwan has struck out at China’s banstating Taiwan would not ban the game.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons available on Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)

This is Niche Culture. In this column, we regularly cover anime, geek culture, and things related to video games. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

Image: The Verge

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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