Animal Crossing: New Leaf Downloaded Half a Million Times Thanks to Smartphones

Animal Crossing: New Leaf has been an unbelievable smash hit in Japan, surpassing Black Ops 2 in sales and helping 3DS overtake the PS2 in lifetime sales.

It may also surprise you that the game is now selling just as crazily from downloads on the eShop, with half a million sales.

In a recent interview with Nikkei, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has revealed something surprising that he thinks has played a large role in the game’s rampant success: smartphones.

Using our Club Nintendo system we can learn the gender and age of our customers. If we look at the first 3 weeks of Animal Crossing sales to the end of November, the highest group is 19 to 24 year-old women. This is an age-range that is typically found in fewer numbers for Nintendo. I’ve never seen anything like it; a game that sells like this on a Nintendo hardware.

However, something interesting is the gender of 3DS purchasers. If we look at the male-female ratio as a whole, it divides into 69% males, 31% female, but if we limit it to just those customers that purchased the hardware at the same time as Animal Crossing the percentages become 44% male and 56% female. These are the sort of numbers that leave me dumbfounded.

What really helped to spread this around was social media, and smart phones. What really sold Animal Crossing to women this time was, without question, smart phones

Another interesting fact to come out of this interview is that New Leaf has used the repented for City Folk‘s mistakes; you can read about it right here.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is coming to North America in the first or second fiscal quarter of 2013. There is currently no word on a European release date.

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