There’s An Animal Crossing: New Leaf Shortage In Japan

By Spencer . November 30, 2012 . 1:10am

imageBad news for Animal Crossing fans who want to buy the 3DS game, but good news for Nintendo shareholders – Animal Crossing: New Leaf sales were higher than expected and the game is pretty much sold out.


And it won’t be in stores for a while. Animal Crossing: New Leaf uses a different kind of 3DS card with SLC-NAND that speeds up writing for the large amount of save data.


Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says it will take several months to get the parts to make more Animal Crossing: New Leaf cartridges. If you need an Animal Crossing fix and have a Japanese 3DS you can still purchase the game via the Nintendo eShop.

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  • psycho_bandaid

    Freaking bravo, Nintendo. Seems they might be on to something that do for the 3DS that Brain Age did for DS. I personally can’t stand Animal Crossing, but it’s good to see them do so well with it.

  • CirnoLakes

    I’m always very happy to see games like this do well.

    • ronin4life

      Next up: Fantasy Life!!
      … I hope… >.>
      I needs that game to get an international release…

  • malek86

    Uhm, now I wonder. Does this mean if you buy the game digitally (thus run it from the SD card) it will save data more slowly?

    I’d like to see some comparison test in loading/save times between the included SD card (should be Class 4) and the game cartridges.

    • komiko12

      Maybe? I think it might be slower because the part that allows faster saving is in the cartridge itself unless the SD card has faster read/write time. So I guess it depends on the SD card itself.

    • ronin4life

      I heard (on NintendoEverything, I believe) the nand card in thr game catridges uses the same stuff found in sd cards and usb drives for better performance.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    With this, it is more or less granted that Konami’s Magician Quest will have little chance of surviving.T_T
    Gamer will keep hunting AC while those who already had the game will keep playing the game to fulfill their life-sim thirst here.

  • …but we need parts for the English version, too…oh, dear.

  • Göran Isacson

    Seems like Nintendo is about to be very glad that they created an eshop again! Even if some hold out for a physical copy, others will probably just spring for the digital variant and Nintendo will walk away with another moneyprinter…

    Sooo who thinks it will sell anywhere near as good in other parts of the world?

  • riceisnice

    I hope this means more expansions on Animal Crossing merchandise in general. Like another movie or additional products.

  • This has got to be the worst shortage issue of any 3DS game to date. Several months. Ouch.

    • malek86

      That will definitely hurt them a bit. Digital downloads probably won’t get 100% of the people who want to buy the game. Still, it amazes me that they seriously didn’t predict such a demand, even if they usually are a bit conservative in their predictions. What about market researchs?

      • To be completely fair, I don’t think any of us could have predicted that Animal Crossing would sell more than NSMB2.

        Remember the retail report earlier in the month? Nintendo only increased production after they saw their pre-order numbers. This is probably outdoing their expectations by a large margin.

        (Which is nice, considering that NSMB2 isn’t doing as great as it should be. Animal Crossing is helping offset that.)

        • I wouldn’t say it’s a big surprise. Didn’t Monster Hunter do a little better than Mario Land 3D with about the same amount of copies sold despite Mario’s headstart? And I kinda remember a report saying that Mario games usually don’t do as well in Japan as they do internationally… or was that strictly regarding threedimensional Mario games? Either way, a “casual” game like Animal Crossing should naturally have a broader target audience than the sequel of a revamped old hat. Nintendo’s advertisement for Animal Crossing also felt more thorough than usual, but maybe that’s just me…
          So they could have anticipated this outcome as a possibility, but chose to play it safe, since they still had the eshop as a back up.

          • Monster Hunter outdoing a 3D Mario game isn’t surprising, actually. It’s like you suspect… the 3D Marios aren’t nearly as popular as the 2D ones in Japan. :)

            I think they were honestly banking on NSMB2 being their big holiday game, and Animal Crossing as more of a complementary title that would, over time, sell millions of copies, just like in the past.

            However, from what we’ve seen, social/communication features appear to be the most popular aspect of the 3DS, so just the opposite has happened—Animal Crossing is taking off like a rocket, while NSMB2 is more of the complementary title that will sell millions over a number of years.

      • kylehyde

        Personally I think that nobody expected that animal crossing would sell so so so well. I know that the series is popular, but I’ve never imagined how much well received was going to be this entry.

  • This to me feels more like a good game to download than any other game. It’s the kind of game you’d keep forever, and play little bits here and there. Having it on the 3DS always seems like a good idea.

  • Seth S. Scott

    Please give us the English version ASAP!! :)

  • SirRichard

    Wow, that’s a ridiculous delay. But then, New Leaf’s popularity is a bit ridiculous in itself; what made it explode more than its predecessors? What’s new about it that it manages to outsell even a Mario game?

    • malek86

      Technically speaking, Wild World started slower but it also got to around 6 millions. It’s possible that this time people were simply more aware of the brand, so sales started faster. Also, the new social features must have helped too, and the 3DS is kinda on fire in Japan right now.

    • Octavia

      I know this doesn’t count when it comes to the AC boom in Japan, but the only reason I’m buying a 3DS is for AC:NL. I wasn’t going to buy the game at first because I thought it was going to be yet another cut out of the previous ones with maybe one or two extra things. This game has a surprisingly large amount of new features. This is definitely the best AC to date.

  • Captain_Jiruo

    I’m really surprised it’s had such a big demand for the physical copies.I’ve barely even considered buying it at retail.

  • ronin4life

    I hate when people say this, but this time I couldn’t help but consider it myself:
    Is it possible Nintendo did this intentionally, in this case to increase DL sales?

    Such a thing seems ridiculous, and certain actions and statements made by Nintendo point away from this. Then again, other factors like the HEAVY dld adverts seem to say they wanted this outcome all along…

    • There’s no possible benefit to doing this, especially not this close to the holiday season when people are shopping for gifts.

    • I really think the heavy download advertisements/encouragement is just coming from their desire to show that they now sell full games on their e-ship instead of just virtual console/made for download only games. This is still pretty new for them.

  • This puts a huge smile on my face. I’ve definitely said it before, but it makes me happy to see AC doing so well that it goes into shortage for that long…wow. It’s been 7 years since Wild World came out, so there was a load of new fans to come in during that time. Even from other parts of the world I would’ve never imagined had AC fans, I’ve seen it!

  • miju

    Oh man if only this was a holiday release in other regions too…

  • Detrimont

    oh boohoo, poor japan, at least they can get it, while the rest of us has to wait til next year, cos not all of us can fully undertand japanese

  • Ferofax

    I guess that means eShop version have slower save rates, if the specialized cart chip is anything to go by.

  • It’s too bad the game wont be out in the U.S. for a few months. If I had the cash I would import a 3DS and AC.

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