KYOTO, JAPAN—Nintendo today announced that the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons update will introduce a permadeath feature to mimic the devastating loss that comes with losing a beloved pet in an effort to meet gamers’ demand for a more immersive gaming experience.
“The level of realism in this new update is unparalleled,” said CEO Shuntaro Furukawa. “If your pet manages to turn 12 years old, you will now have the option to euthanize their weak physical bodies with a wrench, a shotgun, or simply watch them slowly wither away. Players even have the option to put an entire litter of kittens to death if there are no buyers in your town.”
During a Q&A panel, parent of two Jim Cramer enthusiastically stood up, thanking Furukawa. He explained that the new update had helped him connect with his children, stating that it reinforced his unconventional parenting advice.
“I was working crazy hours at the office, and whenever I came home I found my kids playing Animal Crossing. I would think, ‘How come I have to slave away all day just to pay for them to stare at a screen where everything’s just sunshine and butterflies?’ I had to remind them about what it’s like to experience loss and the grieving process. This update allowed my kids to choose from various different ways to put their pets down. The most realistic part was when they broke down crying after it made Tom Nook murder Timmy and Tommy with a shotgun because they didn’t have enough Bells to go to the hospital.”
Towards the end of the demo, the crowd, mostly parents of children that played the game, could be seen cheering as the elephants in the game were pushed towards extinction. “We’re never buying our kid an elephant, so this is a great way to set expectations,” said one parent.