Historically, some Animal Crossing players have altered their console world clocks to allow themselves the chance to take part in real-time events they would otherwise have to wait for. Animal Crossing has always observed the real date and time with its events, like birthdays and New Year celebrations.
Now the latest game will ensure everyone experiences those events together, which should not only hold the surprise, but it will likely also lead to regularly recurring social media fanfare from players.
The patch notes refer to these would-be world clock adjusters as "time travelers," who now find themselves requiring a great deal of patience they've not previously possessed. In older Animal Crossing games, an NPC named Mr. Resetti would antagonize any players thought to be deliberately messing with time by not saving their game, like if they lost the fishing tournament, for example.
Resetti's scoldings would get longer and less friendly with each time players tried to work around the rules of the quaint village. With online-only rules in place now, Resetti's job as the ornery time clock watchdog (watchmole really) is no longer required, though Nintendo has teased he landed on his feet in New Horizons.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons releases this Friday, March 20. It currently sits atop the OpenCritic 2020 Hall of Fame as the best reviewed game of the year with its "Mighty" 92 average from 45 critics.