Monday, February 20, 2017

End of 30th Anniversary

Today's the last day of the 30th Anniversay of The Legend of Zelda. Tomorrow the franchise will be 31 years old, roughly ten days before the release of the next big installment that is Breath of the Wild. Unlike Skyward Sword back in 2011, the new game didn't make it in time for the anniversary, which is probably why Nintendo kept things low, when compared to the 25th Anniversary of Zelda.

Essentially all we got for the 30th Anniversary were a bunch of amiibo, a Nintendo 3DS HOME menu theme and the new Arts & Artifacts book, which will be released tomorrow in the West. Japan also got some new concerts and a Game Music CD Collection, but that was it. As already depicted in my review of the year 2016, Nintendo could have also tied all of the March 2016 releases to the 30th Anniversary, like Hyrule Warriors Legends and all the new Twilight Princess stuff, but they didn't, probably because they still may have had plans for a potential 2016 release of Breath of the Wild.

But what could they have done in addition? What the 25th Anniversary started six years ago, essentially never stopped. The golden Wiimote, the Limited Edition Nintendo 3DS, the Hyrule Historia book, the Zelda level in Super Mario 3D World, the orchestral concerts, the CDs and what not felt pretty special at the time. Finally Zelda got a lot more attention. But by now it seems like all these things have become a standard - the Nintendo 3DS alone saw a total of three more Zelda Limited Editions in the following years and even the Wii U got one. The Symphony of the Goddesses concerts kept happening in cities all over the world. Hyrule Historia now is receiving follow-up books with Hyrule Graphics ("Arts & Artifacts") and Hyrule Encyclopedia. And in general Nintendo is more open with the franchise, which even led to a new spin-off series with Hyrule Warriors.

The one thing from the 25h Anniversary that probably still stands out is the Four Swords Anniversary Edition - a free game, where Nintendo never made it available again (save for four days in 2014 in North America), not even during the 30th Anniversary. In fact this would have been the best opportunity to offer this game to anyone, who didn't have a chance to get it before. They could have offered as a bonus in their new My Nintendo program. But they didn't...

Also, I personally hoped that for the 30th Anniversary they would offer something similar in the form of some free Anniversary DLC for Tri Force Heroes, but sadly this also didn't happen. And the game could have used it, because it was dying quickly without any new content.

Another thing that I expected was some Zelda anime movie, but this can still happen and might tie in with Breath of the Wild later this year...

And from now on Nintendo will have to wait nine years now to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Zelda in 2026, there's no big date in between (you don't usually celebrate 35 years; 25 years is only a thing, because it's a quarter century). But that probably won't stop them to use Zelda as their golden cow in the meantime.

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