Zelda director wants to make something new

Eiji Aonuma says with only about 10 years left in the business, he wants to make something other than Zelda; Link to the Past 2 contains "surprise" that will "shock" gamers.

With only about 10 years left before he plans to be finished at Nintendo, The Legend of Zelda director Eiji Aonuma has said he wants to work on something other than the iconic role-playing game series.

In the latest issue of Edge, Aonuma explained he wants to try new things "before it's too late."

"I'm 50 now, so I only have about ten more years to make games at Nintendo. I want to try all sorts of new things before it's too late," he said. "I don't want to get to the end of my career and only have worked on Zelda."

Moving away from the Zelda franchise has proven difficult for Aonuma, he said, because his new ideas are often wrapped into a new Zelda title instead of an all-new franchise.

"But every time I come up with some good new ideas, they end up being used in a Zelda game," he said. "I need a six-month break to get away from the Zelda cycle and focus on something new [laughs]. But I'd probably end up making a game that's similar to Zelda; after all, A Link to the Past was my biggest influence."

This sentiment falls in line with that of Nintendo director of product marketing Bill Trinen. He said in April that in many cases, once a compelling new idea is conceived, it makes sense to pair that with an established character--like Mario or Zelda--so that the game can appeal to a wide range of people.

Aonuma is not the only longtime Zelda designer contemplating retirement. Series creator Shigeru Miyamoto explained in March that now that he is over 60, it would be "strange" not to think about retirement, though he has no immediate plans to do so.

Aonuma is currently working on The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 2 for the 3DS. He confirmed that this game will run at 60 frames per second and teased that it kicks off with a "big surprise" that will "shock" players.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

158 comments
damacdon
damacdon

No offence Aonuma, but being known only for zelda isn't the worst.

speedycerv1
speedycerv1

So what is this thing that will "shock" me? from the trailer it looks the same as link to the past.

NagisaYushie
NagisaYushie

Wait, he's retiring in 10 years? I thought he was more dedicated to his work. This is absurd.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

I don't get it.... why doesn't he just make a different game? I suppose the director isn't really the guy who would be making the game? I mean after all he would need programmers, designers, artists, etc. in order to get his vision for a game together. 

He should get together a little team and make his own side studio to develop new IPs. 

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Did I just read Nintendo and new franchise in the same article??? Whoa! Hopefully he will get the chance. Nintendo really needs to invest in new IPs to breathe some new life into the company's current lineup.

Downloadpilot
Downloadpilot

I'm surprised he's ONLY worked on Legend of Zelda since being at Nintendo... what, they never let him work on Mario at least? :|

Anyways, hope he gets his wish and brings out some new threads to the console market, heheh.

sonyfreak456
sonyfreak456

How about letting the player play in the villain's perspective, actually make link talk, or let zelda have the role of the hero for surprising revelations between fans. Nintendo really needs to see the obvious when it's right in front of them.

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

"I plan on coding well into my 80s"
--John Carmack, maker of Doom.

THAT is a developer. I thought you japanese weren't the kind to just give up so soon.

Textfield
Textfield

Finally, after 10 years of overrating Zelda. If you want to make something new, don't mention about the Zelda again. 

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

Wow. What will Nintendo do after its top designers leave? Miyamoto created practically all the games Nintendo is known for.

Gegglington
Gegglington

i think he should make  a really dark game 2 or 3 decades of happy happy joy joy could make u loose ya marbles

the_big_doggg
the_big_doggg

Something new like Link to the Past remake for 3DS or HD remake of WindWaker or release Ocarina of Time on the WiiU. The possibilities are endless....

Helios_Sun
Helios_Sun

Nintendo have many Ip's and should focus on the ones that are slipping away as of late, Golden sun could be as big as fire emblem and re focusing on a proper 3d donkey kong or an rpg version could be good.One things for sure the company needs fresh ideas atm in saying that i am happy with whats to come so far.

chocolate1325
chocolate1325

I am sure he could stay in touch with certain Zelda games as a supervisor to make sure the quality is still there but I think it shall be interesting if Aonuma trys something different to Zelda.

mayo920777
mayo920777

I can't help but to think of new IPs that people missed out on. Okami, Beyond Good and Evil, Eternal Darkness, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, Pure and Split Second and Catherine only to name a few. Franchise games like Rayman 2 and Prince of Persia: Sand of Time. All of these games were overlooked by many, many people. I'm all for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft or any other developer bringing new fresh ideas and new experiences into brand new IPs. However it can be so risky with new IPs. So many studios have closed because their games didn't sell a lot, even though they had critical acclaim and many favorable reviews.

jer_1
jer_1

Leave nintendo, problem solved...

kbaily
kbaily

This is a problem with the industry in general. Companies are too afraid to take risks with new IPs and even if a developer has a new IP and it doesn't get shoehorned into an existing franchise, it often gets drug through the ringer by focus groups to make it as "Call of Duty" esque as possible.

But sadly this is why Kirby was made of yarn, Fox was using a magical staff, Link was driving a train and it spreads to other platformers. This is why Banjo was driving a car and this fugly pug nosed thing is parading around as Spyro now and this emo guy is Dante.

liononzion
liononzion

Good for Aonuma San. I believe you should try to have as many various rich life experiences as possible. Good luck to you sir

javalino
javalino

Nintendo  innovating ??  hahahahaha, what a joke, this project will not see the light of day.

Ovirew
Ovirew

Err well I don't think Nintendo should 'retire' any of their IPs, but I think they should put overdone ones on the backburner for a while and focus on new stuff.

Willie_Dynamite
Willie_Dynamite

I'm a Nintendo fanboy but I hope Nintendo retires about half of it's IP's by the time their next console comes out.  It's like the Simpsons, which was fun for a while but it needs to go.

Cyberjin
Cyberjin

Let him do it Nintendo! You really need new IPs! New Characters!

ADO300
ADO300

hey Aonuma-san! how about working on a new earthbound game eh? or perhaps a brand new IP.

bannermanner
bannermanner

The shocker: Link ends up stranded in the ocean, with a bunch of Princess Zeldas sticking out of the water.  The Zelda traveling with him says "It always starts with a princess."  And scene.

Discosmurf
Discosmurf

He should make a game about this regular girl that is contacted by this fairy about a mission to save a prince in a land far away. And along the journey she obtains tools and weapons that make her able to navigate the puzzle-like environment, by defeating bosses inside several temples. Oh wait... that's Zelda. 

bannermanner
bannermanner

Crossing my fingers for a new IP, but not counting on it.

blind59
blind59

I knew it. Nintendo just milks their franchise like crazy. 

Poor guy, creative mind for the most part going to waste, he wants to create a new game, but Nintendo says "No, Implement that idea into Mario or Zelda because it has a bigger fan base"

osirisx3
osirisx3

Skyward did do things a bit different however i believe zelda needs a reboot. They will never change that much if they keep on the same path.

Komania
Komania

@Icepick_Trotter This man has contributed so much to gaming already. You can't blame him for wanting a break from all the stress and pressure of being the Zelda director.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@jrabbit99 

Train new blood to ensure their legacy is carried on maybe? Aside from Miyamoto and Aonuma, there's still an amazing array of talent at Nintendo, the developers at EAD, Retro Studios, Monolith Soft, Intelligent Systems, Camelot, Sora LTD, GameFreak, sure the genius of Miyamoto and Aonuma would be missed but in no way would Nintendo be in trouble when they retire. 

Gegglington
Gegglington

and give the wii u a mature audience

BlazingSpeed
BlazingSpeed

@javalinoAgreed when I saw this line

Aonuma explained he wants to try new things "before it's too late." 

I tried really hard to not to think It already is to late not to troll but looking at what happened to Kenji Iafune the Mega Man creator at Capcom after so many years of faithful service that and a few other Japanese video game industry heavy hitters who had no choice but to leave their respective companies.

Aonuma is going to have to leave Nintendo and even then the Japanese industry does not take well to change Iafune started his own company and it is set up exactly the same as the one he left creative decision wise and otherwise.

inthepastxx
inthepastxx

@Willie_Dynamite The only problem here Zelda is the face of nintendo, as well mario.  I only get nintendo systems so I can play Zelda.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@blind59 

Uh, where'd you get that from? Yet each Zelda entry tends to be very fresh and different from the last. Aonuma said it right in the article that most of his unique ideas would work best with a Zelda game. Also learn the definition of "milking" the Zelda series is most definitely not milked. 

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

@blind59 Well to the entertainment business, that's why a new sci fi movie, is a Star Trek reboot instead of a new franchise. That's why there are a ton of Halo games and God of War games, everyone does that.

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

@osirisx3 Change for the sake of change is pointless, if they want something that is different from Zelda, I would prefer it to just be a different series. Its fun to explore new game design elements in a new universe. If I'm in the Zelda universe, I want a Zelda like experience.

blind59
blind59

@abHS4L88 @blind59 It is incredibly milked it's like the Fast and the Furious movies. They rely too much on his character power of old characters. If it's not milking it's rehashing.

Also learn to read he never said at all that it would work best in a Zelda game...anywhere in the article. He only said that he would probably end up making a game similar to Zelda, something along the lines like KH or Dark Cloud which in all honesty isn't a bad idea.

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

@abHS4L88 @blind59 Yes it is.. wth ? It is milked constantly... O_O How many times has Link to the Past been released ? how many times they have recycled the same ideas in the Zelda games? i've played all of them except skyward sword.. I''ve seen soooo many similar puzzles in different Zelda games, at some point i'll start finding the same quotes, shouldn't be hard considering Nintendo doesn't seem to ever pay someone for a script.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@blind59

Moving away from the Zelda franchise has proven difficult for Aonuma, he said, because his new ideas are often wrapped into a new Zelda title instead of an all-new franchise.

"But every time I come up with some good new ideas, they end up being used in a Zelda game,"

While I wasn't entirely correct, neither are you. 

Funny that you say "If it's not milking, it's rehashing" when both share a strong relationship. Milking in gaming pretty much refers to trying to "milk" as much money out of consumers using a product that they know they'll buy, but in order to do this, you can't wait 3-5 years between releases, which is why these milked games are typically rehashes. Thanks for proving that you don't know what either word means since a franchise that never exceeds more than 2 entries per console can in no way be a "milked franchise" and rehashes in gaming refer to a new entry being almost identical to the previous which Zelda has pretty much never been guilty of. If the Zelda series is a rehash, then pretty much every single franchise in gaming history that has more than one entry is a rehash. 

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@b74kd3th 

I could say the same about most games, different story/setting, largely the same kind of gameplay with a couple of control tweaks. 

Yishaijah
Yishaijah

@abHS4L88

Nope, you forget the GBA port and the Satellaview broadcast, if one can count that.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

You can try to sugar coat it but it's the same sit different toilet when it comes to Nintendo

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Joedgabe@blind59 

Uh twice? First time on the SNES and then on the Virtual Console. 

The overall formula remains the same, but the mechanics, setting, art style, atmosphere and sometimes journey has always varied between each game. Also Zelda has never been about the story, they have plenty of other games that provide that if you want.