Animal Crossing Series

Year: 2001 (started)

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo EAD and Nintendo EPD

Creator: Katsuya Eguchi

Country: Japan

Genre: Social simulation

Platforms: Various

Image Credit: “Animal Crossing Logo” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –

Animal Crossing is a social simulation video game series where the player character is a human who lives in a village inhabited by various anthropomorphic animals, carrying out various activities such as fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting. It’s known for its open-ended gameplay and real-time clock and calendar.

There have been five mainline Animal Crossing games released worldwide. The original Animal Crossing was released in Japan for the Nintendo 64 in 2001. It was enhanced and released on the GameCube the same year. It was later localized and released in North America in 2002, Australia in 2003, and Europe in 2004. An extended version update titled “Dōbutsu no Mori e+,” or “Animal Forest e+,” was released only for Japan in 2003.

The second mainline game, Animal Crossing: Wild World, was released for the Nintendo DS in Japan in 2005, being localized and released in North America and Australia later in the year, as well as in Europe in 2006. It was later re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2016. Third in the mainline series, Animal Crossing: City Folk was released for the Wii in 2008 in North America, Japan, Australia, and Europe, being later released in South Korea in 2010.

Fourth, Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in 2012, and Europe, North America, and Australia in 2013. In 2016, a new update was released for the game alongside “Welcome Amiibo” in North America and Europe, adding several new locations, items, activities, and amiibo functionality and support. Fifth and most recent, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch in 2020.

As for spin-off games, the Animal Crossing series has had three spin-off games, as well as several console apps. Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is the first spin-off of the series, releasing worldwide for the Nintendo 3DS in 2015. In 2015, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival was also released worldwide, being released on the Wii U. The third spin-off game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, was released for mobile devices in 2017. Animal Crossing Plaza, Animal Crossing Clock, Animal Crossing Calculator, and Photos with Animal Crossing are all console apps in the series.

The mainline series games are among the best-selling video games for their respective consoles and the series has been heralded for its inclusivity related to gender expression and character skin tone.

LGBTQ References in this game series:

Animal Crossing (2001): BlancaGracieJuliaSaharah

Animal Crossing: Wild World (2005): Mentions of Same-Sex RelationshipsOpposite-Gender Haircuts

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (2012): Crossdressing and Gender ExpressionIsabelleVillager Flirting

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (2020): CJ and FlickMentions and Queer ReadingsRemoval of Gender Choice


  1. Animal Crossing. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2020, from
  2. Richardson, T. (2020, March 26). The Casual Gaymer: New Horizons of gender expression in Animal Crossing. Retrieved from
  3. Stark, C. (2019, June 12). Animal Crossing: New Horizons will have skin tone customization, gender-neutral hairstyles for Villagers. Retrieved from