Zelda’s 35th anniversary came and went without any fanfare. At least not from Nintendo. Did they forget or not care? No, celebrations are still coming.
It’s been a weird week to be a Nintendo fan. While the recent Nintendo Direct show was fun, giving us some cool announcements – there was a Zelda-shaped hole in proceedings.
A sequel to Zelda Breath of The Wild got announced some time ago, but since then, we’ve seen nothing of the game. BOTW is now one of the most universally adored videogames of all time.
It helped turn the Nintendo Switch into the success it is, so no wonder a sequel is so highly anticipated. And after a whole year without a Nintendo Direct, surely we’d see something Zelda related?
We did, but not what we were expecting. Instead, we got the announcement of Skyward Sword HD on Nintendo Switch. Along with the possibility of additional Zelda ports later.
This is welcome news of course, but Zelda fans were left asking, where is BOTW2? Nintendo addressed this by saying the news is coming soon.
With the 35 year anniversary mere days away, all attention turned to the 21st of February. – The official 35th-anniversary date.
But this too came and went without a word. No announcements, nothing. Something that also doesn’t bode well for Pokemon’s upcoming anniversary on the 27th of February. Let's just hope we're wrong about that.
However, fortunately, an industry insider has said that Nintendo is planning some Zelda-themed celebrations this year. They will just be belated, taking place over the summer.
Zelda's 35th Year Anniversary Celebrations Will Go Ahead - In Summer
According to reliable insider Jeff Grubb, Nintendo is focusing its efforts on Skyward Sword’s release before BOTW2. They will then turn their attention back to BOTW 2 in July.
Nintendo doesn’t want BOTW 2 to overshadow Skyward Sword, but they also don’t want Zelda to get in the way of Mario’s anniversary celebrations. Or perhaps Pokemon's which are also due this month.
Instead, Nintendo wants Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon to each have their time in the sun, without the distraction of the other two Nintendo franchises.
Here’s what Grubb said (via Venture Beat), “The first consideration when it comes to the timing of a Zelda anniversary is Mario. Nintendo’s 35th-anniversary celebration for Super Mario is still ongoing. It’s unlikely that Nintendo would want celebrations for Zelda and Mario to overlap. It would get more from each if it put some separation between the two events."
"This is still marketing. And Nintendo will want to position The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD out in front. This is one of the biggest reasons that Nintendo didn’t talk about other Zelda beyond Skyward Sword HD in its latest Direct video event. The company doesn’t want other Zelda games to distract from its attempts to bring back Skyward Sword."
"Sure, it could’ve released Wind Waker and Twilight Princess at the same time, but the company wants Zelda fans all focused on Skyward Sword. So instead of creating a situation where other Zelda releases on Switch cannibalize sales that could’ve gone to Skyward Sword, Nintendo will create a steady cadence of releases to celebrate the series. That will start with Skyward Sword HD in July, but we should hear about what is coming soon after that this summer."
Multiple Nintendo Anniversary Celebrations!
This actually makes a lot of sense if we’re being honest. We can understand Nintendo not wanting to cannibalize sales of its own games. Or not wanting to distract from festivities with other festivities.
Instead they want all three beloved franchises to get the love and attention they deserve. Pokemon, Mario and Zelda are all crucial to Nintendo, so we understand their reasoning.
2021 is the year all three franchises celebrate their anniversary, so really, it may not matter when in 2021 each happens. What we do know is 2021 is going to be a fantastic year to be a Nintendo fan.
BOTW 2 is coming at some point. The rumors of the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes are growing more substantial too.