is on the way, but you won’t be able to use cloud saves to protect your deserted island’s progress. IGN spoke with Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ director, Aya Kyogoku, and producer, Hisashi Nogami, to clarify why this feature isn’t compatible with their vision for the game, and the alternatives they’re looking at to protect player’s data.The answer came down to one thing: they want to prevent cheating. Nogami said that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an online game that allows players anywhere to connect, and cheating is a huge concern in online games. Kyogoku added on that players could unfairly take advantage of the in-game economy if certain things like cloud saves are used improperly.
Nogami explained that Nintendo Switch’s cloud save service functions similarly to “SD data saves”, and allows users to write their data on allotted network storage. Then, you can progress through your game and eventually roll back your data to the cloud save if you wanted and effectively cheat the game.But how does this differ from time-traveling, another way to cheat the system to visit holidays and quickly earn bells? Nogami clarified that, yes, while some players choose to manipulate their system’s clock to skip around in Animal Crossing, it doesn’t have the same impact as manipulating save data. The Animal Crossing team found that with cloud saves, users could potentially cheat by multiplying or increasing the number of a specific item.
“It messes with the economy of Animal Crossing by getting the items or bells as much as they want. Trying to acquire items or money is something we do in real life too, and we also want the users to understand that there is hard work involved with doing these types of things just like real life,” Kyogoku said. “By putting in hard work, I think it creates value and love for that specific item you were able to gain. And at the same time, by creating an environment like that, fans who do put in the hard work, we wanted to make sure their hard work does not go in vain and we are able to support those players who put in that time and effort.”
Kyogoku is also hoping players don’t feel a need to time travel. She said, between adding an option to play in the northern or southern hemisphere and adding the DIY system that allows players to craft tools even after shops are closed, the impetus to do so should be lessened. In previous Animal Crossing games, shops sold tools at random and closed at a certain time each day. Holidays in New Horizons are also locked to free DLC updates, so time traveling has fewer incentives.
“We believe that Animal Crossing is the type of game that is best played if it is synced to real-time because you are able to share that experience with your friends and family, and enhance that communication that you have with them in real life as well,” Kyogoku said. ”With all that said, I feel like we were able to create a game where users will be able to play and enjoy the game without having to change the system time clock.”
However, Kyogoku and Nogami reaffirmed that protecting saves for players is a priority. As previously mentioned in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Direct, Nogami said that the team is working on a system to recover saves if a player loses their Switch, or if it breaks. They’re also working on a system for transferring data.
“In terms of data transfer and moving, this has nothing to do with cheating. Switch hardware and Switch’s systems have restrictions when transferring special data like Animal Crossing data because it’s a little bit complex. In order to address those concerns, we are trying to create a transfer system that’s special to Animal Crossing,” Nogami said.
IGN has more news from our interview with Kyogoku and Nogami. Stay tuned for that, and until then, be sure to check out the Animal Crossing: New Horizons review and maybe even the Doom Eternal single-player review.
Miranda Sanchez is an executive editor at IGN. She’s hoping Roscoe moves to her island. You can chat with her about video games and anime on Twitter.