Prerelease:Animal Crossing: City Folk
This page details prerelease information and/or media for Animal Crossing: City Folk.
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While working on Animal Crossing: Wild World for the Nintendo DS, series director Katsuya Eguchi began to consider an installment for Nintendo Wii (which was still in development at the time). Due to the massive success of Wild World, he was able to bring the series to the new console with Animal Crossing: City Folk.
Before this new game was unveiled, the team worked on it quietly while putting our other titles such as Wii Sports. Though City Folk was, at its core, a remastered port of Wild World, it included some new features and was a good game for its time and was further improved by the online features granted by the Wii’s Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
- May 19 - In an interview with IGN, Katsuya Eguchi discusses the possibility of connectivity between Wild World and a possible Animal Crossing title on the Revolution (aka the Wii).
- Nov 23 - Animal Crossing: Wild World is released for the Nintendo DS in Japan.
- April - Eguchi says he wants to bring Wild World on to Revolution. Development of City Folk likely starts around this time.
- May 8 - The Revolution is revealed as the Wii. The placeholder title was changed to simply "Animal Crossing". Eguchi shares some details of what would become the concept for the final game.
- February - "Animal Crossing Wii" is listed as a title in Nintendo's launch window. The game has a "TBA" date and details were sparse..
- Jul 11-12 - The team working on Animal Crossing Wii is preoccupied with with other projects, possibly putting development on hold.
- Jul 16 - Animal Crossing: City Folk is revealed at E3 2008, with a release planned for later that year.
- Sep 14 - Animal Crossing: City Folk is localized as Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City in Australia, according to the OFLC rating board website.
- Sep 23 - Europe gets the Let's Go To The City name change.
- Nov 16-17 - Animal Crossing: City Folk is released in North America.
- Nov 20 - Animal Crossing: City Folk is released in Japan.
- Dec 5 - Animal Crossing: City Folk is released in Europe.
- Jan 28 - Animal Crossing: City Folk is released in South Korea.
Early Development (2005-2007)
The first mention of a potential Animal Crossing title for the upcoming Revolution was in an IGN interview with Katsuya Eguchi. When asked about possible connectivity reminiscent of the Animal Island feature from the original Animal Crossing, Eguchi considered a similar feature for the Nintendo DS and Wii. The project was tentatively titled Animal Crossing Revolution, and the goal would be to "tie the Wii and Nintendo DS titles together" if Animal Crossing DS succeeded.
During the Game Developer's Conference in 2006 (after the release of Wild World), Katsuya stated that he wanted to bring "Wild World onto Revolution". Development of the Wii title began based on the same engine as Wild World.
In an interview with gaming website IGN, Katsuya discussed the limitations imposed on Wild World. Notably, he acknowledged that the shops closing at night was "unpopular", and he wanted to find a "different way for people to stay active at night without limiting their choices and tasks". That idea would loosely become the Nook's Cranny remodels which have longer hours based on content.
At E3 2006, the Wii was officially announced and the working title was changed to "Animal Crossing". Katsuya talked about how the Wii Remote would be used for tools like the Fishing Rod, Axe, and Shovel. He also discussed WiiConnect24 functionality, stating that you could have "someone visit your town even when you weren't actively playing and maybe leave you a letter or a gift." This feature did not make it into the final game. At that time, the game had a TBA release.  and in February 2007, the Animal Crossing Wii title was listed on Nintendo's 2007 release window.
At E3 2007, Shigeru Miyamato said that "The Animal Crossing team were busy handling other big projects, like the Mii Channel and "really wants to get back to work on Animal Crossing again". 2007 ended with no release in sight for Animal Crossing Wii, though many rumors and fake details were posted on various gaming websites,
At E3 2008, the Animal Crossing Wii title was fully unveiled as Animal Crossing City Folk. A playable demo was available for convention-goers. Reggie Fils-Aimé claimed that the game will be out by the "end of the year".
There are are several differences between the build shown at E3 and rhe final game. E3 footage.
- The date numbers on the clock were slightly bigger.
- Bells didn't use a "," separator. It could be that it was from a work-in-progress English localisation project, likely tailored for E3 since bells don't have commas in the Japanese version.
- The default design patterns were different. Ironically, one of the designs ended up being used in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
- The stone paving around areas like Able Sisters and the Gate were more detailed.
- The chat menu wasn't panned towards the player.
- The unread Bulletin Board icons were red instead of yellow.
- The margins of the message dialogs were more centered.
- The City was very different:
- The paving had a different color scheme and unfinished-looking texture.
- The music for the City played when the bus arrived in the City, rather than after the player got out of the bus.
- GracieGrace had a different logo.
- The City's Town Tune was the same as the default Town Tune from Wild World.
- Labelle's Town Tune melody had a slower tempo.
- Labelle had a higher pitched Animalese voice.
- The doors in GracieGrace opened slower.
- Shampoodle had a different logo.
- The Gracie series shown was an early version with a slightly different color scheme.
On 14 September 2008, the Australian localization was spotted on the OFLC website, where it was listed as Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City. On 25 September 2008, a localization with that name was confirmed for a European release, including a confirmed release date.