Greetings, true believers!

We’re well into the holiday season now, and almost fit to hibernate…after we finish off all the remaining offering—er, snacks in the office.

But in the spirit of The Twelve Days of Christmas, in which some unfortunate soul receives a large amount of animals unbidden, I shall unleash upon you some info about our marvelous menagerie of beasts!

Story of Seasons has all the animals you’d expect to see on a farm, from cows to sheep to chickens, and even some unusual furry friends like alpacas. But there are some new faces in the barn as well. First up is the Angora rabbit. These friendly balls of fluff live in coops alongside your chickens. They’re not too fond of shears, but that’s okay – they’ll drop their excess hair for you every so often, which you can collect and weave into fabulous sweaters, long johns, or whatever else you might like.

Now, the Angora rabbit has cast its enchanting spell over all of us here at XSEED, so much so that we wanted to extend to you the opportunity to have one for yourself. Thus, we’re proud to present…the Angora rabbit pocket plushie!

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This delightful rabbit will be hoppy to be yours, available while supplies last when you pre-order the game from GameStop, Amazon, EB Games Canada and other participating retailers. It’ll be available together with the game when it launches on…well, we have to save that part for a future announcement, but it shouldn’t be too much longer. And don’t worry, even if these retailers don’t have this adorable fella listed yet, they will soon. Plus, if you’ve pre-ordered before today, you should automatically be included for this gift with your purchase.

Next, we have a personal friend of our fearless rabbit, the Angora goat. These shaggy fellows can sometimes butt heads, but they grow a soft wool you can spin into clothing that’ll fill you with shear delight. And you know who else has a fashionable coat you can weave into wondrous wear? Camels, who are also making their Bokujou Monogatari franchise debut. Camel hair garments could be all the rage in Oak Tree Town, if you decide to raise a barn full of them (and then you can ask them each day, “Would you like one lump, or two?”). If you like your milk a little on the wilder side, you can also raise Zebu, long-horned cattle with a characteristic hump on their shoulders.

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Now, would you believe me if I told you that you could be the proud owner of ELEPHANTS in Story of Seasons?

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Before you contemplate the untapped market for elephant milk, I should add that there are some animals you can get that won’t live on your farm. Where do they live? In the Safari Park! This beautiful nature preserve is maintained by the friendly (and single!) neighborhood ranger Agate, and serves as a sanctuary for wild and exotic animals that come into your care.

As you play through Story of Seasons, Oak Tree Town sees a dramatic upswing in trade with other nations. And these traders who come through…they have connections, as merchants often do. They’re well-connected enough, in fact, that if you ship a lot of goods with them, they’ll eventually present you with a gift of an animal (or animals) indigenous to their home country. You could end up with a parrot, sifaka lemurs, penguins, and of course, elephants. You might even receive a polar bear, if you can find some way to haul a big enough block of ice into the park. And the more animals you get, the bigger a draw your Safari Park becomes, to the point you can get Agate to lead gaggles of friends and townsfolk on the yearly Wild Safari.

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By now, we’ve given the game a pretty thorough playing, with me, Ryan, and Danielle each spending weeks playing normally, trading tips on which crops rake in the big G, how to make everyone fall for you, and more. Feeling confident in the present condition of the game, we feel like it may almost be time for our pet project to leave the nest and venture out into the wild to discover the world beyond our office’s tight quarters. Thus begins the last leg of our journey, and while the winter winds may blow all around us, it’s looking like spring just might be a bumper crop. As always, thanks for sticking with us. The wait, we think, will be worth it in the end. And, as I may not see you again until 2015, I hope each of you has a great holiday season.

+ Nick

P.S. Save all your Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus money, we have a lot of games coming out in 2015. 😀