animal crossing is getting a shop-filled island
© Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku Harv and Harriet welcome your villager to the new shopping plaza island in Animal Crossing.

The hippies have discovered capitalism!

It’s harvest time, and today’s long-awaited Animal Crossing: New Horizons direct presentation certainly bore fruit. Along with the return of Kapp’n and Brewster’s cafe, Nintendo also announced something fans should be very excited about: popular photo destination Harv’s Island is turning into a full-blown shopping plaza filled with your favorite Animal Crossing vendors.

Last year was all about Animal Crossing: New Horizons updates, but since the end of the game’s first annual cycle back in March of 2021, updates have slowed to a trickle. Sure, we’re currently enjoying a revamped version of the Halloween event with new items to collect, but as far as official “New Stuff Coming” news, we’ve not heard much since late July, when Nintendo told us new content was in the works. Today’s 20-minute Animal Crossing Direct certainly did the trick.

Since launch, Harv’’s Island has been a place where you can go to set up photo shoots with your villagers. Starting with the November 5 update, Harv and his new friend Harriet will task you with turning the back side of his island into a full-blown plaza. Contributing bells will help build shops, where vendors like Kicks and Sahara, normally timed island visitors, will have permanent stalls.

animal crossing is getting a shop-filled island
© Screenshot: Nintendo / Kotaku A village stops by Kick’s new store on Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s new shopping island.

Now Kicks can disappoint you with his shoe selection every day!

Cyrus will be setting up a shop where you can customize furniture you normally couldn’t customize on your own through the crafting table. The lovely Katrina will have a stall where she reveals your fortune for the day. And newcomer Harriet will be there to cut your hair into bold new styles.

All of this new Animal Crossing: New Horizons content is coming at the perfect time. After a 2020 spent in isolation due to the ongoing pandemic, players have been venturing out into the real world a bit more in 2021, so maybe we didn’t need the distraction of Nook and friends as much as we did a year ago. But now, as we head into the holiday season, we’ll be sheltering from the cold and spending time with loved ones, which makes for a great occasion to break out the Switch and visit a tropical paradise, even if it’s soon to be covered in snow.

I have to admit I’ve let my own Isle Sorna fall to ruins over the past six months or so. Looks like it’s time for me to hop back in, pull some weeds, and have my villagers gently berate me for leaving them alone for so long. That’s what animal friends are for.

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