Nintendo should release Animal Crossing: New Horizons early in support of voluntary isolation and social distancing, suggests a Change.org petition. The petition is gaining steam, adding 12,000 signatures on Sunday alone.
Schools, offices, stores, and restaurants are temporarily shuttered across the United States and around the world to prevent the spread of COVID-19, leaving many people with plenty of time on their hands.
Organizer Brad C of Sarasota, Florida, offered this reasoning in the petition’s initial post: “Those who are cautious to attend social gatherings can gather with their virtual neighbors around a comforting campfire while DJ K.K. charms everyone with a song.”
It’s not a stretch to say that many people who would be staying home to play New Horizons will be spending the week indoors anyway, but supporters hope Nintendo can provide them with a pleasant distraction. “I have a compromised immune system,” reads a top comment on the petition. “Leaving the house for any reason poses a huge risk to me. I’m anxious that my family will wind up bringing the virus home and could really use something like this to take my mind off everything.”
Other petitioners are a little more dramatic: “I need this game to live.”
Not that AC:NH needs more buzz, but releasing the game early would be a good look for Nintendo. Late last week, Disney earned the goodwill of frazzled parents by releasing Frozen 2 to their streaming platform.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is scheduled for release this Friday, March 20.