Animal Crossing: New Horizons now has official rules for promotional islands

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has created official guidelines for businesses and organizations that use the game.

While Nintendo's products are generally intended for private, recreational purposes, the company isn't asking groups to stop using New Horizons for promotional purposes. It is asking them to follow the new "Animal Crossing: New Horizons Usage Guidelines for Businesses and Organizations" posted on Nintendo's official site today - and if they don't, Nintendo reserves the right to "take appropriate actions" including banning the business from using New Horizons in the future.

According to the guidelines, businesses and organizations are encouraged to give out custom designs and dream addresses to players, invite others to their island, and upload their screenshots to "family-friendly" sites and social media profiles. But they need to keep some things in mind while doing so.

For starters, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is rated E for Everyone, and Nintendo kindly requests you don't go above that. Nintendo also asks that you "refrain from bringing politics" into the virtual island life, so it's a good thing it didn't post these rules before the Joe Biden campaign started inviting people to its island.

Organizations are also prohibited from directing people to anything outside of the game - including contests hosted on other sites, asking people to follow accounts on social media, and so on. And you're definitely not allowed to make any money by using the game, including by selling Custom Designs.

If you'd told me that Animal Crossing: New Horizons would need business guidelines a year ago, I would have given you a weird look and said "OK, is the fishing good, though?" But the game has already sold 26 million copies with no sign of slowing down, so it may be even bigger next year.

See what else is coming from Nintendo with our guide to upcoming Switch games. 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.