REDMOND, WASHINGTON – As part of their latest update to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Nintendo announced that players who haven’t visited their island in several months have doomed their animal friends to a slow and painful death.
“Many of you walked away from our game after draining every last drop of dopamine you could get from it, and your idiot animal neighbours simply haven’t been able to survive without you,” the patch notes read. “They relied on you, and you abandoned them.”
The notes go on to explain how every single one of the game’s 397 villagers met their demise. Chester the bear, for example, died from dehydration after doing nothing but smell a flower for six days, while Keaton, an eagle, can be found sprawled next to a fruit tree, having waited in vain for you to shake a few apples to the ground.
“Keaton is so goddamn stupid that he doesn’t know he can fly up to pick the apples himself, and you expected him to just go on with his life?” Nintendo asked. “Shame on you.”
Without your guiding presence, villagers drank seawater, got trapped in pitfalls, used the wrong end of their fishing poles, wore shorts and sandals in the dead of winter, and spent what precious few bells they were able to scrape up on marching band uniforms and pinball machines instead of food.
While some of the relatively competent villagers were able to scrawl messages like “Oh feathers, we have been forsaken,” and “Death stalks us all, indeedaroo!” before succumbing to the elements, others reverted to their natural instincts. When some fans complained about the game’s sudden tonal shift, Nintendo responded with “What did you think would happen when you left a tiger and a rabbit alone together for months?”
Players returning to address the situation can contact Tom Nook about a mass grave package.