Currently, tidbits of Zelda Wii U news are as rare as oases in the Gerudo Desert. This has led some fans to think the game won’t come out next year, or even on the Wii U, despite reassurances from Nintendo employees Shigeru Miyamoto and Reggie Fils-Aime. Fans of both the company and the Legend of Zelda franchise are familiar with how protective Nintendo can be when it comes to its IPs. The company has branched out in recent times with the announcements of future theme park partnerships and mobile games, but could this protective nature be hurting the development of Zelda Wii U?
Fans may fear this, but it’s unlikely with partners willing to step in and offer help and ideas. The Wii U has benefited from such developers as Platinum Games, who worked with Nintendo to bring great experiences like The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 to the Wii U; and most recently it was revealed they are helping with StarFox Zero.
“Monolith Soft is always available and we would love to help anytime people ask us.”
Monolith Soft is another partner that appears to be a great fit for Nintendo. As far back as the GameCube days the developer was on board, helping to bring Baten Kaitos to the aptly-named console. They have continued to publish and contribute to games on the Nintendo DS family of systems, such as A Link Between Worlds, as well as the Wii and Wii U. A certain Wii game in particular, Xenoblade Chronicles, launched a movement to get it localized in North America, making it a sleeper hit among JRPG fans and ensuring its place in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U.
Monolith Soft has worked hard to bring the sequel to life. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a bigger, more ambitious game than the original in terms of open-world gameplay and mechanics. In an interview with Game Informer about the game, the subject of Monolith Soft’s potential involvement with Zelda Wii U inevitably came up. The developer helped out with Skyward Sword after all, and fans — as well as Nintendo employees like Bill Trinen — have drawn comparisons between Xenoblade Chronicles X and the Legend of Zelda franchise.
While the art styles are different, there are some similarities between the games already noticed by fans.
When talking of their relationship with Nintendo, Xenoblade Chronicle X’s director Tetsuya Takahashi revealed they held weekly development meetings with the company to discuss progress on the game. Monolith Soft often provided “reports and feedback on the technology and the different kinds of problems [they] encountered.” This information was then shared internally with Nintendo’s various development teams, meaning the Zelda Wii U team has likely already benefited from Monolith Soft’s help.
But what about becoming more involved with Zelda Wii U’s development? While Monolith Soft hasn’t been asked directly for help, Takahashi was open to the idea, saying, “I would want to say that Monolith Soft is always available and we would love to help anytime people ask us.”
Any contribution Monolith Soft can provide towards Zelda Wii U would be a welcome one, as it could be the most open Zelda game since the original Legend of Zelda. A developer close to Nintendo with experience in the open-world genre could bring a lot of ideas to a franchise that has retreaded familiar territory in recent installments. We’ll have to wait for the next oasis of information to learn more of this potential partnership.