A screenshot from the upcoming version 1.10 update in Animal Crossing: New Horizons births rumors that more villagers will arrive in the game. For many who have been hoping for bigger content updates, this is a promise of something more substantial arriving in the future.
There are already a lot of villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There is currently a total of 397 villagers that can live on a player's island, including the recently added Sanrio crossover villagers. Previous games such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf have had other crossover villagers with amiibos. These included villagers such as Cece and Viche, two squirrels that cosplayed as Splatoon's Squid Sisters, and villagers based off characters in The Legend of Zelda like Wolf Link and Ganon.
This screenshot comes from Nintendo's most recent update announcement for Animal Crossing: New Horizons (via Nintendo Life). In this screenshot, showing off some of the upcoming seasonal items, the house the player is standing in front of features an unfamiliar design. This design isn't known to be owned by any of the villagers currently in the game, nor does it belong to a past villager that's not in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This leads to a few possibilities: either villagers' houses will be customizable in the future to allow for new designs, or this is a design of a character that isn't in the game as of yet, be it an old character or an entirely new one.
One criticism that surrounds Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the lack of variety in villager dialogue. Specifically, how villagers tend to repeat themselves when a player speaks to them a certain number of times. This, along with villager requests such as deliveries being rarer than they used to be, can make it seem as though the character writing wasn't as much of a priority as mechanics such as terraforming. This is part of a larger point of contention with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, namely that it doesn't have as much content as Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
But new villagers would go some way towards shortening the gap in content between Animal Crossing: New Horizons and New Leaf. The character designs and personalities are what make up the charm in the Animal Crossing series, which explains why so many of the villagers are in high demand for their designs alone. These new villagers could potentially be as valuable as Raymond, or they could be more amiibo crossovers like the Sanrio bunch. Whatever ends up being true, the thought of new characters in some form is an exciting one for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
When Animal Crossing: New Leaf hit North American markets in 2013 it introduced a number of major changes to some of the long-running franchise's more established features. Players were now the mayors of their own villages, the ability to place buildings outside completely upended town customization, and the player characters themselves had been reworked to allow for more hair and clothing options.
Come 2020 and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the latest entry in the franchise, has shaken things up yet again. While the new title certainly retains the DNA that makes Animal Crossing so beloved, veteran players will have noticed some of these big changes from New Leaf to New Horizons.