Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the Second Best Selling Nintendo Switch Game

We knew Animal Crossing: New Horizons was popular, but the game's official sales figures are truly shocking.

Animal Crossing New Horizons
Photo: Nintendo

Nintendo’s latest fiscal report revealed the top 10 best-selling Switch games to-date and confirmed just how successful Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been.

Since its release on March 20, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold 22.40 million copies. Incredibly, that number may be even higher as these figures only account for sales as of June 30. In any case, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is already the second best-selling Switch title of all-time and is only 4 million units behind the Switch’s best-selling game of all-time (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe).

As if selling over 22 million copies in less than five months wasn’t enough of an accomplishment, additional figures published by Nintendo reveal just how shocking New Horizons‘ success has been from a historical perspective.

For instance, only six Nintendo Wii titles have outsold Animal Crossing: New Horizons during that console’s long and incredibly successful lifespan. Only three Nintendo DS games outsold Animal Crossing, and no Nintendo 3DS games have outsold New Horizons. No Wii U games outsold New Horizons either, but given that the best-selling Wii U game only sold 8.45 million units, we’re not sure if that’s worth bragging about.

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In general, the figures for the best selling Switch games so far are surprising. Six Nintendo Switch games have sold over 15 million units so far, which means there is a very good chance that if you own a Nintendo Switch, you likely own some combination of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield.

So how has Animal Crossing: New Horizons managed to become one of the fastest-selling games of all-time? Well, you certainly have to respect that the game is very, very good. Quality and popularity don’t always go hand-in-hand, but when you’re a great game in a legendary franchise that fans have been waiting to play on a Nintendo console yet again, that’s generally a recipe for success.

Yet, it’s impossible to talk about Animal Crossing: New Horizon‘s popularity without also discussing the timing of its release. New Horizons was released at a time when much of the world had begun quarantining in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gamers everywhere were looking for a deep game to play while stuck inside, but even non-gamers soon became obsessed with Animal Crossing due to its wholesome, escapist nature and social media popularity.

It feels like a given that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will soon become the best-selling Nintendo Switch game ever, but we’ll have to wait and see whether a game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 eventually takes the crown.