In an open letter to their customers Nintendo has announced that Animal Crossing: New Leaf is currently sold out in Japan (where it goes by the title Animal Crossing: Jump Out), and will likely stay that way for some time due to unanticipated high demand and manufacturing difficulties.
The manufacturing problems with Animal Crossing: New Leaf are a result of the game’s special cartridge, which allows for more data storage than a standard 3DS cart. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed that the company under estimated the demand for the game, and as a result did not order enough of the higher capacity carts in their initial order. Iwata added that it could take a “couple” of months before they are able to ship more copies of the latest installment in the Animal Crossing franchise to the Japanese market.
The Big N did not reveal exactly how many copies of Animal Crossing: New Leaf have been shipped to Japan, however, the latest sales data from Media Create show that retailers sold through an impressive 1.106 million copies during the title’s first three weeks on sale. As of November 25th life-to-date sales of the 3DS stood at 8.42 million in Japan, which means that an estimated 1 out of every 8 Japanese 3DS owners have purchased the game.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is currently scheduled to launch in North America sometime next year, hopefully Nintendo will be able to work out their supply constraint problems prior to its Western release date.