Update: Nintendo has announced that The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will be joining the Nintendo Selects program in North America, which is almost certainly the sole reason for the company’s earlier quote request. Likewise, the news did not arrive during the Nintendo Direct (nor did whatever 505 has planned for Terraria). Looks like we went 0 for 2 on this one, folks. Sorry if our speculation got your hopes up too far in the wrong direction.
Original story: We were already excited about the rumored January Nintendo Direct, with rumors pegging games like Metroid Prime 4 and Soulcalibur VI for big appearances. However, a recent request from Nintendo has us wondering if a Zelda title could also be on the list of surprise reveals.
A representative for Nintendo PR contacted EGMNOW late last month to request permission to use a quote from our The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds review. Normally, that wouldn’t be too surprising. Publishers routinely ask permission to use scores or quotes from coverage in trailers or other advertisements, and it’s not news. And, after all, we gave A Link Between Worlds a 10 out of 10 back when it launched for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013.
But that’s the weird part: The game came out in 2013. Why the heck are they asking permission to use a quote for promotional purposes now, especially when they already quoted us for the game’s original launch trailer?
Then, on January 2nd, EGMNOW received a similar quote request from publisher 505 Games, asking for approval to use a quote from our review of Terraria, another 2013 game. That game, it’s worth noting, has already been announced for Switch.
We reached out to both companies for comment. Nintendo said it had “nothing to announce on this topic.” 505 said its request “does not reflect any announcement plans on behalf of Nintendo.”
This is, of course, as far as we can take this story in the realm of reporting. Nintendo asked us to use a quote about an old game. 505 did the same. That’s where the facts end.
But it’s hard not to read into this and speculate just a little bit. Our guess? Nintendo is gearing up to reveal a Switch port of the 3DS Zelda game. 505 is getting ready to make an announcement about Terraria‘s launch on the platform, too. The overlap in timing could point to both games appearing in the oft-rumored January Nintendo Direct.
Again, allow us to be crystal clear: None of this is confirmed.
Still, it makes a kind of sense, especially for A Link Between Worlds. We wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see more ports to the Switch, especially considering Nintendo went all out last year with major entries from its top two franchises, Zelda and Mario. Nintendo will more than likely have another good year in 2018, but with confirmed 2018 first-party titles so far limited to Kirby Star Allies and that Yoshi game, and with its paid online services not arriving until later in 2018, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea for Nintendo to buff the Switch’s library by porting previously overlooked games.
If the success of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is any indication, players who are returning to Nintendo thanks to the Switch (like me) may have missed a few choice titles on other consoles. Heck, Nintendo is already doing just that with former Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2. I don’t own a 3DS, but I’ll buy a Switch port of A Link Between Worlds day one, especially considering the console’s hybrid, portable design.
Then again, we could just as easily be completely wrong in our speculation. It’s worth noting that Nintendo, which is usually strict when it comes to things like embargoes and confidential press briefings, didn’t make a big show of this request being secret. (The only mention of confidentiality in the email came in a boilerplate warning to any unintended recipients of the email. EGMNOW was the intended recipient.) Needless to say, we wouldn’t be writing about the request in violation of any embargo or confidentiality request, because that would be shady of us and risk alienating Nintendo.
Given the absence of any such precautions, it may be just as likely Nintendo is preparing something mundane. The company could be gearing up to promote new 3DS bundles, for instance, and 505 may be getting ready for an completely separate announcement related to Terraria‘s Switch launch. There’s absolutely no definitive conclusion to be drawn from any of this. But it sure got us thinking.
Update: An earlier version of this post misstated what we know about the possible arrival of Virtual Console on Switch. It has been updated to correct this error.