Nintendo Producer Eiji Aonuma announced the decision Friday that The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U was no longer targeting a 2015 release, a delay in other words. That decision came with the revelation that the game will not make an appearance at this year’s E3 in June either. While the delay for the first new Zelda title on the Wii U is disappointing, its absence from the year’s biggest gaming convention is more so in gamers’ minds.
The delay of The Legend of Zelda comes as no surprise. Gamers have already seen numerous titles on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One titles slip either a few weeks or into 2016. Most recently, Batman: Arkham Knight’s release slipped a couple of weeks, while Uncharted 4 went from the PlayStation 4 tent-pole exclusive for 2015 to a surprise spring 2016 launch. And, that doesn’t include GTA V’s PC release.
At the same time, we’ve seen multiple games that should have been delayed. Assassin’s Creed Unity, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and DriveClub could all have used some extra testing and development time.
From that perspective, the delay of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is welcome and appreciated. That’s especially true with Aonuma’s explanation for the delay.
“In these last three months, as the team has experienced first-hand the freedom of exploration that hasn’t existed in any Zelda game to date, we have discovered several new possibilities for this game,” he stated in the video announcement. “As we have worked to turn these possibilities into reality, new ideas have continued to spring forth, and it now feels like we have the potential to create something that exceeds my own expectations.”
Nintendo is trying something with Zelda on the Wii U that it’s not really done before. If Nintendo and Aonuma are set on making the game better, it’s great that they are going all out. From a consumer standpoint though, it is disappointing that it will not be shown at E3 in June though.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) March 27, 2015
The Legend of Zelda Wii U was first announced along with the Wii U in 2011. However, it wasn’t until this past year that we’ve seen an idea of what Nintendo has planned; an open-world Zelda, a curious new Link, more emphasis on exploration, etc. The response has been solid for a console that’s struggled to convince consumers to buy it. In short, “the hype is real.”
The lack of Zelda at E3 doesn’t leave Nintendo completely short-handed for the convention. There’s still first party titles like Star Fox, Mario Maker, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Devil’s Third which are coming after E3 this year or 2016, plus the western release of Xenoblade Chronicles X. There’s also the anticipation surrounding the new NX platform, though it seems unlikely that Nintendo will show anything. That is a decent first-party line-up, but nothing that has the kind of impact as The Legend of Zelda.
Creating an E3 demo for The Legend of Zelda would divert developer time away from completing an already highly-anticipated game. It’s understandable that Aonuma and Nintendo won’t to remain focused on completing the game. Hopefully, we will at least see a demonstration of the game out of a Nintendo Direct around the time of the convention or not long afterward similar to the video from this past December’s The Game Awards.
[Images via Nintendo]