Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is becoming quite the smash hit on iOS and Android mobile devices, but Pocket Camp doesn’t appear to be the game’s first iteration. Beforehand, Nintendo developed another mobile Animal Crossing game that was ultimately scrapped in favor of Pocket Camp, YouTuber Liam Robertson reports.
In Robertson's video, he points out that the first Animal Crossing mobile game was called Animal Crossing: Town Planner. Using sources connected to Town Planner, he says development began in 2016 and was set for that fall.
In that game, players could create their own towns from scratch. Players would place their own buildings throughout the game and visit other players’ towns, managing a simple economy along the way. Robertson calls this iteration “static” with no proper gameplay cycle to keep players coming back for more.
And Nintendo agreed. The company’s higher-ups concluded Town Planner was simply “too barebones” and “too basic” to publish. The player couldn’t even walk around town or visit villagers. So Nintendo threw out most of Town Planner and instead began development on the game we have today: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
"It was actually being compared unfavorably to the Fire Emblem mobile game also in development," Robertson explains in the video, referencing Fire Emblem Heroes. "Internally, [Town Planner] was not all that well received, and growing concerns about its quality made its future uncertain."
That move was probably for the best. Even though Pocket Camp isn’t quite as complex as its main console iterations, the mobile Animal Crossing game is already proving pretty engaging in its own right, with plenty of content planned for the near future. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available now on the iOS App Store and the Google Play store for free.