The new guidelines were issued after Biden obtained an island supporting his campaign in the game's virtual world.
"Please refrain from using the Game inappropriately or creating any content within the Game that would be considered vulgar, discriminatory, or offensive. Please also refrain from bringing politics into the Game," the guidelines read.
Curiously, the new content guidelines further state that you cannot use Animal Crossing “as a marketing platform that directs people to activities or campaigns outside the game (including directing people to a sales page, distributing coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways, requiring consumers to follow social network services accounts, gathering customers’ information, or other invitational activities).”
Polygon asked Nintendo for an explanation, but based on the most straightforward interpretation of these rules, things like using Animal Crossing for a political campaign that inspires people to go out and vote — as Joe Biden’s campaign did earlier in the year — are no longer permitted. Groups that break these rules, Nintendo says, might be required to stop distributing their content, if not be outright banned from “future business usage of the Game.” Given that Joe Biden has already won the election, some of these consequences might be moot.
Less than a month before the election, The Verge announced that the Biden campaign had produced its own island, named "Biden HQ," in the game -- replete with avatars of the former vice president and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
It reportedly involved a field office and "train town" for Biden's favorite mode of transportation. In addition to campaign flyers and a flag with the "Team Joe" logo, it further added an apparent polling station with a "massive ad for the Democratic National Committee's 'I Will Vote' website," The Verge noted.
“The island includes plenty of ice cream, trains, aviators, chucks, swag, and more weaved throughout the entire island — but there are also features that encourage players to organize and mobilize,” Christian Tom, who worked as a director of the campaign's digital partnerships, explained.
The campaign previously issued yard signs with four designs for players to get that they can put around their virtual island homes -- including the official Biden-Harris logo, the Team Joe logo, the “Joe” Pride logo, and an image of aviator sunglasses colored in red, white, and blue.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also began playing the game in May when she invited Twitter followers to send her their "dodo codes." She allegedly went on to attend other gamers' islands while wearing a shirt that read "AOC." It's unclear how much she's played since then.