This Is Why Some 'Harvest Moon' Fans Are Abandoning the Franchise

When the original developers of the 'Harvest Moon' franchise split, many felt the game wasn't the same anymore, leading 'Harvest Moon: One World' into controversy.

Sara Belcher - Author

Mar. 2 2021, Published 4:32 p.m. ET

Harvest Moon
Source: Natsume

The Harvest Moon franchise created one of the original farming simulators, letting players grow crops, raise animals, and make friends with the townsfolk. The newest installment in the franchise, Harvest Moon: One World, was released for the Nintendo Switch on March 2, bringing back many of the title's original concepts, while adding some new features.

Some fans of the Harvest Moon games have been waiting a long time for this new title — the second created specifically for the Switch. 

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But not everyone is as excited about this new installment as you would think. The release of Harvest Moon: One World has been overshadowed by a long, ongoing controversy between the original developers of Harvest Moon — leading some to ditch the franchise altogether.

harvest moon
Source: Natsume
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'Harvest Moon' fans aren't pleased with the recent franchise installments.

When developer Natsume announced the newest installment in the Harvest Moon franchise, the news was met with mixed responses from fans. Longtime fans openly declared they didn't have high hopes for the title, as many of the recent Harvest Moon installments developed by Natsume haven't lived up to their expectations.

"Frankly, unless you've come up with a new vision and re-imagined the gameplay, I'm not interested," one Twitter user replied to the announcement tweet. "None of the Natsume developed Harvest Moons have been great, though Skytree was pretty good. The Switch entry was passable at best."

"Don't be [excited]," another commented. "Natsume will never live up to Harvest Moon's name. Just play Story of Seasons."

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In fact, many of the replies to the original tweet were from fans hoping the title would return to the root of Harvest Moon's gameplay — something many feel the game has continued to stray away from.

Many claim that if you're looking for a classic Harvest Moon experience, it's best to play the Story of Seasons franchise from Marvelous Inc. For those not familiar with the developer, Marvelous Inc. was one of the original studios to work on the oldest Harvest Moon games.

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Why did 'Harvest Moon' change to 'Story of Seasons'?

The Harvest Moon story isn't an original one anymore — in addition to the Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons franchises, other popular titles like Stardew Valley have successfully adopted the concept. 

In 2014, Natsume and Marvelous Inc. decided to part ways, and Natsume was no longer a publisher of the franchise. Both companies went on to create their own versions of the title, but Natsume retained the rights to the Harvest Moon name.

If you've been playing Harvest Moon titles since they were originally released on the SNES, you might enjoy the newer Story of Seasons games instead. Many of the recent Harvest Moon titles have adopted concepts from other life simulator games like Animal Crossing and Minecraft.

That being said, those newer to the Harvest Moon games might enjoy Harvest Moon: One World. The trailer teases the franchise's first female protagonist, new biomes to move your farm to, and more.

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