The Japanese company is a bit fed up with brands, politicians, and ‘deviants’ using its games for self-promotion. While Ikea used Animal Crossing for a furniture magazine, the American presidential campaign used characters which looked like Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and strippers tried to sell escort services through the game. Nintendo is now putting the brakes on these kinds of practices.
‘Usage guidelines’ aimed at everyone
After seeing AC: NH hijacked, the Japanese company posted long, very passive-aggressive usage guidelines, saying that this is the first time they have had to create these kinds of instructions. The guidelines prohibit doing certain things with, for example, the clothing creation system which was quickly used to do naughty things.
If you are interested in the complete list, it is quite informative. It is now highly inadvisable to start a political debate in Animal Crossing, since a few weeks ago, certain players’ islands were inundated with bots in the image of Joe Biden with a ‘VOTE’ sign.
Players not innocent either
Even regular players are being targeted by Nintendo, which prefers to nip this problem in the bud. Before, players could resell in-game items on eBay for real money, but Nintendo now says this is punishable by a permanent ban from the servers. It is still possible for everyone to create themed islands (even in the colours of a company or a brand) and invite players to them, but only if the desired commercial purposes are expressed in a clear and explicit manner.