One of the main benefits of subscribing to Nintendo Switch Online is the Save Data Cloud Backup feature, but it won’t be available with Animal Crossing: New Horizons unfortunately.
In an interview with the French outlet Gamekult, Animal Crossing: New Horizons Producer Higashi Nogami revealed that the game will not be compatible with cloud save backup. The reason he provided for the lack of support was ‘to avoid manipulating time, which remains one of the founding concepts of the series.‘
With the advent of cloud saves and automatic backup, how will you handle Mr. Resetti’s interventions?
HN: New Horizons will not be compatible with cloud backup, to avoid manipulating time, which remains one of the founding concepts of the series.
FEBRUARY 2020 UPDATE: Since this article was published in June 2019, new information has been released by Nintendo detailing a ‘limited ability to recover Animal Crossing: New Horizons save data from the server’. Learn more details in our Ultimate Animal Crossing: New Horizons Save Data Guide here.
Note that this is based on a Google translation, so the quote about manipulating time may not be perfect, but overall confirmation of no cloud saves can be trusted. We’re guessing their main concern is duplication of items by sending an item to a friend, then somehow loading a cloud save from beforehand.
To be honest, this is not much of a surprise and more of a confirmation of what was likely to happen. Splatoon 2 is another game on the Nintendo Switch which has cloud saves disabled due to similar cheating concerns, and Higashi Nogami is actually the producer of that game as well!
Regardless of the reasoning, this remains very disappointing as Animal Crossing is perhaps one of the flagship examples for cloud saves. The idea of losing their Animal Crossing town after putting in hundreds or thousands of hours is downright terrifying to some players, and cloud saves could have offered some relief.
To put it another way, the developers have essentially chosen to prioritize their concerns about cheating over our concerns of having our save files protected from data loss or a stolen/lost console. That’s a shame, but I can respect their desire to have the game remain as ‘pure’ as possible too. They make the game after all.
What do you think? Is this the right move to reduce the potential for cheating, or do you feel like Nintendo should have more concern for the safety of our islands? Let us know in the comments below.
Pre-orders are now open for Animal Crossing: New Horizons at Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy. Stay tuned to Animal Crossing World for more on Animal Crossing: New Horizons as we approach the release date next year.