It turns out that Shulk and Isabelle might have more in common besides both appearing as playable characters in Super Smash Bros.: Ultimate. The blonde-haired hero stars in the popular Xenoblade Chronicles, and, as it turns out, Xenoblade developer Monolith Soft actually helped out with Animal Crossing: New Horizons!
The developer is primarily known for gorgeous, story-heavy adventure titles such as the popular Xenoblade Chronicles series, which will be receiving a Definitive Edition release for the Nintendo Switch later this year. It came as quite a surprise to fans when it was revealed that Monolith had been involved with the development of New Horizons, an island living simulator that has been praised for its calm, relaxing pace.
Monolith Soft has updated their Japanese Web site to list Animal Crossing: New Horizons among the games which they have helped develop. However, the entry does not include any details regarding what role Monolith may have played in the game’s creation.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been added to Monolith Soft's website. Very similarly to Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Happy Home Designer, Monolith Soft's support team worked on this title.
— Stealth (@Stealth40k) April 4, 2020
This news may not have been so unexpected after all. Previously, Monolith Soft assisted in a support role during the development of the previous main series Animal Crossing: New Leaf, released in 2012, and the 2015 spinoff Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Similar to New Horizons, details have not been released regarding Monolith’s role in the development of either title.
Monolith Soft was acquired by Nintendo in 2007. Since then, they have also provided development support for popular titles including Splatoon, Splatoon 2, Pikmin 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There are currently rumors that Monolith may also be involved in the development of an upcoming Zelda title which may be the highly anticipated sequel to Breath of the Wild.
Fortunately, Monolith has recently expanded in size and scope, including opening a new studio in Tokyo in 2019. This gives them the capacity to both continue developing high-quality entries in the Xenoblade series and support Nintendo with even more of its upcoming titles.
Do you think the Xenoblade cast would enjoy a visit to the tropical island setting of Animal Crossing: New Horizons? I think they definitely would!