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Nintendo chose internet friend codes because using real names was not simple enough

A leaked internal Nintendo presentation has shed light on the company’s reasoning for choosing its infernal 12-digit friend codes – something decided upon nearly 15 years ago and which we still type in today to add friends for Animal Crossing.

The decision to use friend codes rather than real names or nicknames was made back in the mid-noughties, as the company planned the Wii’s internet connectivity, and has come to light now via a cache of old Nintendo data being passed around the internet.

In a slide from the leaked presentation titled “The Friend Code” (picked out of the leak by Kinda Funny’s Imran Khan), Nintendo set out its reasoning for picking 12 random digits as the best way to add friends, rather than typing their names.

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