In the year after Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ release, Nintendo only released six new villagers. Can players expect more characters in 2021?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been out for more than a year now. In that time, Nintendo has released regular new updates – holidays, events, island visitors, and new furniture and customization options. But only a few new villagers have arrived, and those came exclusively via a special collaboration, so it’s unclear if Nintendo will add more Animal Crossing villagers in 2021.
There are almost 400 villagers in New Horizons, eight of which are new characters not brought over from previous entries in the series: Audie, Cyd, Dom, Judy, Megan, Raymond, Reneigh, and Sherb. In early 2021, Nintendo also introduced the game’s first post-launch villagers, bringing the six Sanrio collaboration villagers to the United States for the first time. With so many villagers available, it’s safe to say most Animal Crossing fans already have a few favorites, and even new players can usually find at least one villager to get attached to.
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New Horizons features more customizability than ever before when it comes to letting players choose which villagers live in their towns. Mystery tours and the island campsite both allow players to cycle through villagers, inviting whichever characters they want to become a part of their town, and newer characters like Raymond proved highly sought after in fan communities. All of this adds up to explain why some players are so eager to meet even more new faces.
Nintendo’s 2021 Animal Crossing Plans
Given the recent release of the Sanrio collaboration pack, which hit store shelves in late March 2021, it doesn’t seem likely Nintendo has plans to introduce other new villagers any time soon. While the possibility isn’t entirely off the table, it’s more plausible Nintendo will wait until late 2021 at the absolute earliest – or maybe even the second anniversary of the game in March 2022.
Nintendo could also be planning on releasing new villagers annually, as the Sanrio collaboration villagers were released in tandem with the first anniversary of New Horizons, but no official word has been made either way. All Animal Crossing fans can do at the moment is speculate. The new villagers most likely to be added next are probably the Nintendo crossover characters, like W. Link and Ganon from The Legend of Zelda, along with the other villagers still missing from New Horizons. Still, Nintendo could also surprise fans with entirely original characters.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons updates seem to be far from over, and with its steady stream of new content, it’s almost certain Nintendo will eventually introduce new villagers into the game. For now, though, it seems unlikely that will happen in the first half of 2021.
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