Friday, December 05, 2008

Oops: Nintendo Sends Media Game with an Unexpected Surprise

Nintendo wanted to show off the Character Importer feature of Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii. To do so, it sent media pre-played copies of the old (2005) DS game, Animal Crossing: Wild World, with much of the content unlocked. Unfortunately, it appears whoever played the games added a surprise Nintendo never intended.

Both MTV Multiplayer and Kotaku posted that their games contained what some might consider a racial slur, and others just chatting with your homeboy. Part of the Animal Crossing: Wild World gameplay is the ability to customize greetings from characters, and thus both sites reported seeing the following greetings from Baabara (a sheep):
"I almost forgot about you, N***a"
"So got any juicy gossip for me, N***a?"
"Just thinking about it gets me all excited, N***a."
1Up received the following apology from Nintendo:
"Previously played copies of the 2005 DS game Animal Crossing: Wild World were sent to 14 members of the media to demonstrate the ability of players to transfer items to the new Animal Crossing: City Folk for Wii. We regret that an offensive phrase was included without our knowledge via a wireless function that allows user-generated catchphrases to spread virally from one game to the next. This version is limited to 14 copies created for media review purposes only and is not available at retailers. We sincerely apologize for the incident and are working with media who received the game cards to return them to Nintendo immediately."
I don't find this to be something that should cause huge amounts of criticism for Nintendo. It's not as though it was part of the game from the start, and it's something that, due to the customizability of the game, could be done to anyone's copies after sale. It's obviously bound to embarrass them and cause at least one employee to join the ranks of the unemployed, though.



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