It has been less than a week since Cadence of Hyrule was announced for the Switch, but hype about the Zelda/Crypt of the NecroDancer crossover is already resounding throughout the gaming community. IGN recently spoke with developer Brace Yourself Games about how the roguelike, rhythm-based title became an unprecedented collaboration with one of gaming’s biggest hitters, and whether or not it is counted as an official Zelda game.

Link takes aim with his bow in Cadence of Hyrule.

“We were considering making a new Nintendo Switch project,” Ryan Clark, founder of Brace Yourself Games, told Tom Marks of IGN. “We imagined how cool it would be to have Zelda characters appearing in NecroDancer; say as DLC. To our surprise, Nintendo was extremely interested in the prospect, and before we knew it we were working on a completely new title, mashing up NecroDancer with The Legend of Zelda!”

The article mentions that while other third-party developers have in the past created works within the Zelda franchise with Nintendo’s blessing (Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons, and The Minish Cap were all developed by Capcom, and Hyrule Warriors was headed by Omega Force and Team Ninja for Koei Tecmo), this is the first time a smaller, independent gaming company has been given the reins to one of Nintendo’s most sacred names.

Hyrule Warriors, developed by Team Ninja and Omega Force for Koei Tecmo.

Nintendo manager of publisher and developer relations Kirk Scott, declined to count Cadence as an actual Zelda indie game, and Clark emphasized to Marks that Cadence of Hyrule is primarily a Crypt of the NecroDancer title. Regardless of which official canon the game will fall under, it is entirely possible this collaboration will set a new precedence for developers in the future.

VentureBeat also reached out to Nintendo about Cadence of Hyrule‘s status as an official “Nindie” title, and whether or not it sets a new benchmark for how indie developers might be granted access to Nintendo IPs in the future.

“I hope so. I totally hope so,” Scott told VentureBeat writer Mike Minotti. “I think this is validating for a lot of indies out there.”

With Nintendo’s history of embracing and implementing new ideas and its persistent inclination to do its own thing within the gaming industry, it will be interesting to see just how far these new Nindie collaborations might go from here. Cadence of Hyrule is scheduled to hit the Nintendo Switch later this spring.

What are your thoughts on smaller developers utilizing big-name Nintendo franchises? Let us know!