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honestly, i think it just comes down to shadow massively underestimating just how much of a viral phenomenon animal crossing was and continues to be. i don't think any game comes close to the internet presence this has, other than maybe like peak fortnite and thats a F2P game. you cant use historical analysis for a game like this - a full priced exclusive selling 22 million in a few months is completely unprecedented territory. this game is frankly an outlier.

taking AC out of the equation, everything else shadow says makes sense