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Animal Crossing Players Are Losing Their Islands Thanks To A Game Update

Over the years, players have sunk countless hours into the "Animal Crossing" games, building a home, growing an island village, and making lots of animal friends along the way. For some fans, their unique islands reflect years of gameplay and a personal attachment to the game's world. To suddenly lose that connection and see their efforts lost would be a serious blow for a good deal of players. Sadly, that's what many are experiencing after an update for "Animal Crossing: New Horizons."

The recent losses first received attention thanks to TikToker jeskask8s, who posted a video explaining her recent discovery that, after downloading an update, her island, representing 500 hours of work, had been lost. Further, while she was a subscriber of Nintendo Switch Online and should have had a cloud backup of her save, she had apparently made a mistake with the upload process, so her save was not in the cloud either. Speaking through tears, jeskask8s detailed her gradual discovery of what had happened and her devastation upon learning that the loss was irreversible.

The video prompted an outpouring of support from her viewers with many sharing their sympathies and others revealing that they had experienced similar losses. Regrettably, this does not seem to be an isolated incident.

Lost save data a rare but ongoing risk for fans

It seems that jeskask8s isn't the only one to have lost her island to an update. Viewers in the comments had also been frustrated to learn that their work was gone. Further, this seems to be an issue that has occasionally cropped up for "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" players since its launch with players occasionally posting about their frustrations online. While Nintendo does offer support to those who have lost saved data, recovery does require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and, as jeskask8s and others have found, there's no remedy if the backup wasn't set correctly

For jeskask8s, at least, this story does, fortunately, have a happy ending. Despite initial misgivings about starting over, she has decided to begin a new island thanks to encouragement from her viewers. Clownville is currently in development, and the future looks bright.

Other players, however, may not have the motivation to begin anew. If nothing else, these recent reports should serve as a reminder to fans that they should take pains to carefully set up backup saves if they subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online and check them periodically — especially before downloading an update. Some games may delete their own save files as part of the experience, but no one wants it to happen by accident.