The Numbers Game Behind Zelda Releases

Nintendo has just announced in their Nintendo Direct stream that The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker will be making it’s way to the Wii U as a remastered port later this fall. In addition they have also announced that a brand new Zelda title is also in development for the system.

This is similar to Ocarina of Time’s re-release on the 3DS back in 2011. Ocarina of Time was released as a measure of incentive during the 3DS’s struggling period. It was released as a measure of good faith to show the world that Zelda will be on the 3DS, Zelda is on the 3DS. Since its release fans have clamored for more, creating the tongue-in-cheek petition “Operation Moonfall” in favor of re-releasing Majora’s Mask for the 3DS as well. Nintendo has in fact listened to their fans and shown an interest in doing so, but only after a new Zelda title has been released for the system.

It’s been over a year now since then and the biggest Zelda news is now the remastered port of 2003’s Wind Waker originally for the Nintendo Gamecube. What does this mean? To the unsuspecting eye, nothing. But to the observant, a lot can be unraveled. Of course, this is merely speculation, but there is a good amount of leverage behind it.

2011 was the 25th anniversary of the Zelda franchise, celebrating the series was its newest entry, Skyward Sword on the Wii. Taking this simple observation into account, it can be estimated that in 2016 the 30th anniversary will see Zelda’s newest and biggest title on the Wii U.

Beyond that however there exist underlying factors, such as the release of the 3DS Zelda titles. Where would they fit in?

Majora’s Mask, originally released in the year 2000 for the Nintendo 64 will have its 15th anniversary in 2015. If any time is a good time to release a remake of it, it would be then. If that is the case, then certainly we’ll see a brand new Zelda for the 3DS before then due to Nintendo’s earlier stipulation.

While the possibility of a Zelda game being released this year for the 3DS is viable, it’s somewhat unlikely now that Wind Waker is set to release this fall. Though of course, the idea that Nintendo wouldn’t release Zelda games back to back in the same year might be proven moot to some due to 2011 seeing both Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword’s releases.

Of course, the year 2014 doesn’t come from thin air either. 2014 would make three years after the release of Ocarina of Time on the 3DS, just as 2016 will be three years after the release of Wind Waker on the Wii U.

There’s no denying that a calculated schedule to releasing these titles does exist to some extent. Nintendo might not outright say it, but the clues are certainly there. Now only time remains to see the outcome.

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