This is ironic and funny to us, but no doubt embarrassing for Nintendo. Here is a company that limits its games by way of complicated friend codes, weak online features and even its hardware like Wii Speak so as to keep the horrible realities of the online world away from its (apparently) fragile and corruptible userbase. But within one of the special press-only Animal Crossing: Wild World (NDS) cards, you find a racial slur... created by one of the people (its unclear who) hired to play the DS game.
A pre-played version of 2005's Animal Crossing: Wild World for DS, sent out to media outlets to encourage connectivity with the recent Animal Crossing release for Wii, contains at least one shocking addition, reports MTV Multiplayer. Importing the saved data from the DS cartridge sent by Nintendo into Animal Crossing: City Folk introduces a host of changes into the game, including one, suddenly no longer E-rated character, Baabara, who now greets players with: "How are you, Ñ---á?"
In all fairness to Nintendo, the offensive word isn't likely to make it into consumers hands as the DS cards with said offensive material was only sent out to a select group of the media. Plus, restrictions built into the Animal Crossing games and Nintendo hardware would limit something from spreading to individuals who did not want to openly share in this.
But that doesn't make this story any less newsworthy. For a day or so, it tarnishes Nintendo's calculated family-friendly image.
Nintendo has of course apologized:
"Previously played copies of the 2005 DS game Animal Crossing: Wild World were sent to 14 members of the media to demonstrate the ability of players to transfer items to the new Animal Crossing: City Folk for Wii. We regret that an offensive phrase was included without our knowledge via a wireless function that allows user-generated catchphrases to spread virally from one game to the next. This version is limited to 14 copies created for media review purposes only and is not available at retailers. We sincerely apologize for the incident and are working with media who received the game cards to return them to Nintendo immediately."