Nintendo Acknowledges Real Money Animal Crossing: New Horizons Sales Against Terms Of Service

4 years ago 15 Comments

Nintendo has officially acknowledged the widespread sale of Animal Crossing: New Horizons items, currency, and villagers for real money as against their terms of service, according to a Japanese publication.

We previously covered the emergence of expensive real money sales for Nook Miles Tickets, Bells, furniture sets, tools, and more shortly after launch. Since then, the market for these real money sales of Animal Crossing: New Horizons items have only grown larger.

While early item sales appeared to be mostly small time eBay and Twitter sellers, you can now find a multitude of entire businesses created with selling Animal Crossing items in mind, not to mention listings on the first page of Amazon when searching for Animal Crossing.

Some fans have been pointing out for some time how the Nintendo Account User Agreement appears to ban these types of in-game sales. In the Japanese version, it’s actually very specific with little room for interpretation:

8. Prohibited Matters

In using the Nintendo Account Service, the customer (including the customer who owns the Nintendo Account under control) or a third party acts corresponding to any of the following items, and the possibility of that You shall not perform any action.

(15) Acts for the purpose of making a profit in connection with Nintendo account service or shopping contents by a method not intended by us (including the act of buying and selling shop balances, in-game currency, etc. in real fiat currency) .)

However, we couldn’t find a close equivalent of this specific language in the English version of the agreement. There is plenty of more general language about digital items or reselling that could apply though.

According to Japanese publication J-Cast, they reached out to a Nintendo spokesperson by email requesting a response on the matter to see whether the sale of Animal Crossing bells and items actually violates the Nintendo Switch Online Terms of Service agreement in the company’s eyes.

In response, the Nintendo official replied back the following short statement, confirming fan suspicions that the company does not look favorably towards real money item sales in Animal Crossing: New Horizons:

We recognize that in violation of our Terms of Service.

Additionally, J-Cast says that “for users and companies that buy and sell characters and items, as well as companies that perform RMT intermediary, in general, we will respond to each case individually.” RMT means Real Money Transactions, which is what these Animal Crossing sales are often referred to as in Japan.

Practically speaking, we’re quite unsure whether there’s really much Nintendo can do about the issue, given how difficult and time consuming it would be to track down each sale. We wouldn’t expect individual sellers on Twitter for example to see any action taken against them.

However, the company could try to target some of the larger companies selling items on their own websites or the listings on sites like Amazon through various take-down mechanisms.

Either way, if you choose to sell items for real money in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, know that you are technically violating Nintendo’s terms of service.

So, what do you think about real money transactions taking place in Animal Crossing? Do you think Nintendo should try to crack down on these sales, or does it really not matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Stay tuned to Animal Crossing World for everything on New Horizons, including our extensive Guides section here.

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