Nintendo has published a new code of conduct that it wants businesses to follow in Animal Crossing, and it seems the company is pretty unhappy with all the 'political islands' that have been made in the game.
A lot of the guidelines in the newly published code of conduct reiterate rules that were already in place for players of the game – “do not deceive others” and “do not go beyond the age rating” have been present the whole time – but there are some interesting new additions, too.
Nintendo asks organizations and businesses that use the game for marketing ends to “refrain from bringing politics” to the game, to which it attaches a point that any content considered “vulgar, discriminatory, or offensive” also be kept out of the chilled-out island life simulator.
Previously, United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has used Animal Crossing in her messaging, and there was an infamous Joe Biden island that the president-elect's team used to encourage voter participation among younger people ahead of the 2020 US presidential election, too.
Nintendo seemingly wants political concerns to stay out of its game. Maybe it flies in the face of what the publisher sees as a child-friendly game, or something similar.
The updated code of conduct also says you may not use New Horizons “as a marketing platform that directs people to activities or campaigns outside the game (including directing people to a sales page, distributing coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways, requiring consumers to follow social network services accounts, gathering customers’ information, or other invitational activities)”.
Nintendo does offer a small get-out clause, though, stating: “Any business use of the Game that exceeds the rules set forth herein shall be permitted only with the separate and express, written permission of Nintendo.” So maybe Biden and Harris' team has saught explicit permission to keep their island gates open to the voting public.
Biden's island, at the time of writing, is still open for visitors. You can also see AOC playing games on Twitch from time to time.