After months of anticipation, Nintendo finally pulled back the curtain on its new Animal Crossing game for Switch–now dubbed Animal Crossing: New Horizons–at E3 2019. Since the company’s E3 Direct, more details about the title have begun to emerge, and one of the new tidbits we’ve learned is that it won’t support cloud saves.
In an interview with French website Gamekult (via US Gamer), game producer Higashi Nogami confirmed that, unlike most Switch titles, New Horizons will not allow players to back up their save data to the cloud. The reason for this, according to Nogami, is to prevent players from manipulating time in the game, thereby cheating.
This news doesn’t come as much of a surprise, particularly if you’ve been following the series. Each installment to date has taken measures to prevent players from cheating; in the past, if you quit the game without saving, the irritable mole Mr. Resetti would pop up the next time you loaded your file and scold you (although he’ll be out of a job in New Horizons thanks to the game’s auto-save feature). Mr. Resetti was optional in Animal Crossing: New Leaf for 3DS, but that title similarly didn’t allow you to back up saves.
New Horizons isn’t the only Switch game with this restriction, either; a handful of other first-party titles, namely Splatoon 2 and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, likewise don’t support cloud save backups, and that will presumably be the case for Pokemon Sword and Shield as well (although that hasn’t been confirmed yet). A few notable third-party games also don’t support cloud saves, such as Dark Souls Remastered, Dead Cells, and NBA 2K19.
Cloud saves are one of the perks you get for subscribing to the Nintendo Switch Online service. While New Horizons won’t support that feature, the game does require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription in order to play online with others. As we learned during a Treehouse Live demo, New Horizons will support up to eight players online and locally. Nintendo also confirmed the game will feature couch co-op for the first time in the series.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches for Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020. We learned a lot of other details about the game during E3. This time around, players will be establishing their own village on a deserted island, and they’ll be able to use materials they gather from rocks and trees to craft tools and furniture. The game also makes some welcome quality-of-life improvements, like giving you more control over where other animals move in. You can read more in our Animal Crossing: New Horizons pre-order guide.