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Animal Crossing New Horizons: Why Nook’s Cranny Update Vanished?

Posted: Mar 06, 2023

One thing in New Horizons that still confuses me to this day is why Nook’s Cranny only upgrades one time. 

I think most of us were generally expecting that we would see some form of upgrade for the shop, like we had in pretty much every other animal crossing game. Even if this was just one more final version to tie up things nicely to add another stage of progression, that would have been a fantastic update. But it never came aside from us expecting an upgrade because of the past games. We actually had some evidence seemingly that Nintendo was planning an upgrade, too. Thanks to data mines. 

Now, if you don’t know what a data mine is effectively, certain people will look through the code of a game to see what interesting things they can find. Often, this gives us a good idea of what future updates we can expect within a game. For example, we knew way back in 2020 that Brewster and The Roost would be coming to the game, which they finally did later on in 2021. In fact, pretty much every day to mine proved to be accurate in the end. All of these data mines came from Ninji over on Twitter, who proved themselves to be an incredibly reliable on accurate data miner. 

ACNH Nook's Cranny UPDATE Vanished

However, one of these data mines specifically about Nook’s Cranny seemingly never happened, at least as far as we know. Ninji shared way back in 2020 that a third Nook’s Cranny was referenced in the game's code, but not much else was detailed about it. This would have appeared to be a third upgrade since at that point we already had two versions that are still in the game to this day. But even with the 2.0 update coming and going and major updates being discontinued, this upgrade for Nook’s Cranny seemingly never came. So, what exactly happened?

There are a few ideas that make sense. The first is that Nintendo did plan on adding a third version Nook’s Cranny to the game. But for some reason, they scrapped this idea. Sometimes data mine content is something that Nintendo was working on, but they changed their mind for whatever reason. Maybe they just preferred the idea of having a more quaint shop on what is originally a deserted island and feeling like a more elaborate version wouldn’t really fit the style of the game. Or, perhaps plans got canceled when Nintendo upgraded halves Island, creating a whole bunch of new shops of players to use there.

Maybe they felt like an upgraded Nook’s Cranny would have been pointless with the variety you get in halves. It’s also possible that this code was misinterpreted and Nintendo never really planned a third version of the NookShop. Maybe it was actually regarding the second floor of Nook’s Cranny, which technically you can access using some glitchy methods. Nothing is actually up ther,e but it’s still a space with a modeled staircase.

ACNH Nook's Cranny

Technically, Nook’s Cranny also got minor upgrades, too. With new limited time, items being added and a complete inventory of new ACNH Items being made available, there with a 2.0 update. It’s not really a different version of the shop itself, though, but maybe this is what Nintendo actually meant to begin with.

Whatever the reason, the absence of this bird from Nook’s Cranny is really sad for me. I think having a much bigger space to shop in would have been fantastic. You could have brought back Gracie, who could have run the high end of the shop and just generally provided players with more options, which would have been really great. This is how it wasn’t basically every other game, so I would have liked it to be this way in New Horizons, too. 

After all, New Horizons is the most advanced of all the games, so it feels odd to me they went backwards in this one particular way. At the end of the day, we may never know what happened to this third Nook’s Cranny version if it even truly existed.

Ninji, like most other Animal Crossing data miners have now basically retired from the game as it’s been out for so long and updates have stopped. So, these sorts of things will remain a mystery unless Nintendo ever specifies what content they would have planned on adding to the game. But they couldn’t. That would definitely be a really cool thing to learn if they ever shared their information, although sadly, Nintendo is honestly pretty secretive about this kind of thing.

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