Animal Crossing: New Leaf, or Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori as it’s known here in Japan, has officially become Japan’s most wanted videogame, but not simply because of high sales figures.
The game, which allows you to customize and decorate your home or otherwise while away hours at a time exploring a town populated with cute anthropomorphic animals, has been literally impossible to get hold of since the end of November, with staff in electronics stores across Japan simply shrugging their shoulders when asked when they’re expecting to receive new stock.
Despite incredible demand for the title, with the problem “unlikely to be fixed any time soon,” president of Nintendo Japan Satoru Iwata took to the stage this week to apologise to consumers in an official statement punctuated with plenty of long, deep bows and, for the briefest of moments, an expression of absolute terror.
According to Mr. Iwata, the cause of the shortage is not just the unexpectedly high sales of the game at launch, but the actual game cards that the software ships on. Although at first glance they may look like ordinary 3DS game cards, the latest Animal Crossing title is said to ship on a special “SLC-NAND” game card that speeds up data read/write process, helping the game run more smoothly.
▼Mr. Iwata apologizes for the software shortage
After giving a long, deep bow, Nintendo’s company president explains that, since it takes a long time to manufacture the special game cards “the problem won’t be resolved any time soon,” and that people will simply have to be patient. Why do we have the feeling that someone in the company will be getting fired over this?
The full apology video, complete with the president’s fretful Frodo face around 36 seconds in, is currently viewable on Nintendo’s dedicated Animal Crossing website, with a special “message regarding shortages” now a permanent feature on the title page.
“Despite placing an order for the special game cards months in advance, their production takes time,” Iwata explains, “and after sales of Animal Crossing far exceeded our original estimations, we find ourselves in the situation where demand is outstripping supply. I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and assure you that we aim to rectify the situation as soon as possible.”
Well that’s all well and good, Mr. Iwata, but in the meantime what about all of those children harassing their parents for a copy of the game this Christmas? And how am I supposed to fill the time I hoped to dedicate to planting flowers and making my virtual home beautiful? Clean my real apartment and do some laundry!? Not a chance.
Source: IT Media Images: 任天堂