• Nintendo’s newest game, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” launched on March 20 and has already sold millions of copies and provided the perfect escape for those socially distancing themselves from loved ones amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Katsuya Eguchi, a Japanese game designer, was inspired to create the series after feeling isolated when he moved away from home at age 21 to work at Nintendo headquarters in 1986. The game explores themes of family, friendship, and community.
  • Eguchi, now a senior producer and deputy general manager at Nintendo, has led production of all Animal Crossing iterations, and other beloved games like Wii Sports.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Daily life across the globe has been completely upended by the coronavirus pandemic — and millions have taken solace in the recently released “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” life simulator game for the Nintendo Switch.

Foto: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Source: Nintendo

Source: Business Insider, Forbes

The game was created by Nintendo developer Katsuya Eguchi. He has been with the gaming giant since 1986.

Foto: Katsuya Eguchi speaks onstage during the Nintendo All-Access Presentation on June 5, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Source: Vince Bucci/Invision for Nintendo/AP Images

Source: Nintendo Life

In a 2006 interview, Eguchi said he wanted the game to be family-oriented: “This was something that the kids could play after school, and I could play when I got home at night, and I could kind of be part of what they were doing while I wasn’t around.”

Foto: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Source: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”/Nintendo

Source: Gamasutra

Eguchi developed the idea for the game when reflecting on the lonely feeling of moving, completely alone, to a new city.

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Foto: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Source: William Antonelli/Business Insider

Source: Nintendo Life

Raised in Chiba, Japan, Eguchi moved hundreds of miles away to Kyoto at 21 to begin working at Nintendo’s headquarters in 1986. The loneliness in this period of his life served as his inspiration for Animal crossing.

Foto: A view of Kyoto with Osaka in the distance at sunset in January 2020. Source: brunocoelho/Shutterstock

Source: Nintendo Life

There was a “kind of a desire to create a space where my family and I could interact more, even if we weren’t playing together,” he said in a 2006 interview. The newest Nintendo Switch version of the game allows players to do just that, and visit other players’ islands.

Foto: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Source: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”/Nintendo

Source: Gamasutra

The first iteration of Animal Crossing was released in 2001, and its sole objective was to explore the themes of family, friendship, and community.

Foto: Animal Crossing was first made for Nintendo 64 and Game Cube. Source: Nintendo

Source: IMDb

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is part of that long-running franchise. In the newest iteration, players simulate life on a deserted island. The objective of the game is to build a home, make friends, and for the most part, enjoy mundane daily activities.

Foto: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Source: Nintendo

Source: Business Insider

Before using his personal experiences to fuel the basis of Animal Crossing, Eguchi helped design Super Mario Bros. 3 and Starfox in the 1990s.

Foto: Eguchi at the 2012 E3 conference. Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Source: Wired

“The games I made before Animal Crossing were always pretty tough to finish,” Eguchi once said. “I wanted to make games … really that everyone could play.” There are no levels to beat in Animal Crossing, just a virtual life to be lived.

Foto: Katsuya Eguchi. Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Source: Gamasutra

Eguchi also created 2006’s beloved Wii Sports and assisted with the creation of other fan favorites like versions of The Legend of Zelda and Splatoon.

Foto: A man playing Wii Sports. Source: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Source: Britannica