Sweet 'Hokko Life' finds publishing buddy amid 'Animal Crossing' craze

As Nintendo's "Animal Crossing" basks in the warmth of fan adoration across social media, indie publisher Team 17 has won a deal to publish detailed franchise homage "Hokko Life."

"Animal Crossing: New Horizons" is Nintendo's breakout success story of early 2020.

While the company is yet to release metrics of its own, the home-making March 20 release was the Nintendo Switch's best-selling debut to date in Japan, even outperforming "Pokémon Sword & Shield" with nearly 1.9m copies sold in its first few days.

In the UK, the relaxed island life simulation was likewise a chart-topper, outselling second best-seller, action game "Doom Eternal," by a factor of three.

So what about the rest of us, eager to get in on the chilled out, pottering about vibes of "New Horizons"?

Robert Tatnell, solo developer of "Hokko Life", may have the answer -- or at least part of it.

He's been beavering away at the cozy, detailed "Animal Crossing" homage for several years and, after a fresh wave of interest followed his official reveal trailer in February, is now partnering with Team17 to publish the finished game.

Players can build a snug home in the heart of a friendly town community, customize their style with an extensive clothing editor, share their designs with other players, and go fishing, farming and bug catching.

Team17, especially well known for the "Worms" and "The Escapists" franchises, isn't yet revealing a firm release date or launch formats for "Hokko Life."

It's quite possible, though, that the deal substantially increases the chances of "Hokko Life" making it to other console platforms in future.

Between 2015 and 2019, Team17 published 26 games; of the 24 released on computers, 20 were also released on one or more console platforms, indicating where Team17's preferences might lie.

Of course, in the absence of solid proof, that doesn't mean "Hokko Life" is destined for PlayStation and Xbox too, but Team17 is already lending a hand to support the game's Steam community. Perhaps it'll help support versions of the game for consoles too, if the fanbase is there to reciprocate.

"Hokko Life" is anticipated for 2020 release on Windows PC through Steam, where wishlisting it in advance helps make it more visible for other Steam users.