Nintendo wants Animal Crossing: New Horizons users to keep politics out of the cushy capitalism simulator, and has released a new set of guidelines to help businesses and organisations play within the rules.
The announcement comes after various high-profile political campaigns and brands used the title to engage and connect with voters and connect with customers — including President-elect Joe Biden, whose campaign built a Biden Island for people to visit and also released Biden-Harris yard signs in the run up to the recent U.S. election.
The new guidelines allow businesses and organisations to provide custom designs and dream addresses to other players, invite other players to their island, and upload screenshots and game footage to “family-friendly websites and social network services.”
However, they also advise users to “refrain from bringing politics into the game,” and prohibit the use of Animal Crossing as a “marketing platform that directs people to activities or campaigns outside the game.”
“You are not allowed to obtain any financial benefit from using the Game (including selling your Custom Design or earning any advertising revenue with the Game content),” they state, effectively telling folks to stop using Animal Crossing as a political and marketing stomping ground.
“If we see your activity is not following these guidelines or is damaging or having bad influence on the community, we may ask you to stop such activity or usage of our contents, and take appropriate actions, including prohibiting your future business usage of the Game,” continued Nintendo.
“We may revise this message as the community changes. If you are interested in distributing your Custom Designs or other activities in relation with your business, please refer to the latest version of this message. Please be aware that any applicable Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Account agreements continue to apply.”
You can read the full set of guidelines over on the Nintendo website.