Animal Crossing: New Horizons will not support cloud saves, according to Director Aya Kyogoku.
Kyogoku told French publication GameKult that this was done because of the time travel mechanic.
Time travelling has been a staple of the franchise since the original Animal Crossing on the GameCube and allows players to go forward or backwards in time by changing the in-game clock. The feature is useful for growing one’s bank account through interest or reaching certain seasonal events faster, but comes at the risk of weeds growing and villagers moving out.
The cloud saves feature included in Nintendo’s paid online service doesn’t cover dozens of games including Splatoon 2, Dark Souls: Remastered, Minecraft and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu & Let’s Go, Eevee. You can see the full list of incompatible games here.
Nintendo told Kotaku that while the vast majority of Switch games support the cloud saves feature, it’s not allowed in certain games because the feature may be used for cheating. For instance, you could regain items that have been traded to other players or revert to a higher online multiplayer rank that you lost.
According to Kotaku, the Switch doesn’t allow you to back up save data in any other way, including through copying saves to an SD card.
Plus the portable nature of the Switch makes it prone to getting lost or accidentally damaged, making the cloud saves feature more desirable.
During the interview with GameKult, Kyogoku said that they think that Amiibo functionality will come to Animal Crossing: New Horizons given the number of dedicated Animal Crossing cards and Amiibo figures, but they cannot give out any info on the matter at the game’s stage of development. Producer Higashi Nogami told the publication that the game was designed with the traditional controls in mind but there will also be elements of the game geared toward touch controls.