The Legend of Zelda turned 35 on Sunday, February 21, but Nintendo let the anniversary pass without making much noise. If you’re a fan of the publisher’s biggest adventure series, you might find the silence distressing. But if you look at the anniversary as marketing, Nintendo’s decisions make more sense.
When a corporation celebrates an anniversary, it is for the purpose of selling more products. And the way Nintendo is going to maximize the return on these marketing efforts is to distribute them and let them breathe.
The first consideration when it comes to the moment of Zelda’s anniversary is Mario. Nintendo’s 35th anniversary celebration for Super Mario is still ongoing. It’s unlikely Nintendo wants the Zelda and Mario celebrations to overlap. I would get more out of each if I put some separation between the two events.
The company is wrapping up Mario’s anniversary on March 31st.
In addition to Mario, Nintendo is also concerned about getting the most out of each and every new Zelda product in the future.
Skyward Sword is the first step on Zelda’s 35th anniversary journey
Even if Nintendo starts rolling out the party balloons and birthday cake for Zelda, don’t expect it all to arrive at once. This is still marketing. And Nintendo will want to put The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD front and center.
This is one of the main reasons why Nintendo didn’t talk about other Zelda’s beyond Skyward Sword HD at their latest Video Direct event. The company does not want other Zelda games to distract you from your attempts to retrieve Skyward Sword.
Sure, it could have released Wind Waker and Twilight Princess at the same time, but the company wants Zelda fans to focus on Skyward Sword.
So instead of creating a situation where other Zelda releases on the Switch cannibalize sales that could have gone to Skyward Sword, Nintendo will create a constant cadence of releases to celebrate the series. That will kick off with Skyward Sword HD in July, but we should hear what’s coming soon after this summer.
Again, the keyword here is marketing. Nintendo wants to create a story for Zelda fans that leads them to spend as much money as possible. That starts with Skyward Sword HD in July, continues with the likely Wind Waker / Twilight Princess HD ports, and then can finally culminate with the release of Breath of the Wild 2.
The idea is to create key moments that Zelda fans won’t want to miss. And to participate in the first step of the festivities, all you have to do is spend $ 60 for a Wii remaster.
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