Two of the biggest news stories to come out of this year have been the delays of two much anticipated games into 2016. Announced last year, The Legend of Zelda for Wii U and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End were two of the years most anticipated games, however disappointingly both games were delayed into 2016 for one reason or another. Now while at the time the reasons given were pretty reasonable and understandable, when more information is considered both of these delays seem pretty suspicious.
It recently dawned on me when Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection was announced that there was something strange going on. The newly announced Nathan Drake collection brings all three of Nathan Drake’s Playstation 3 adventures onto the Playstation 4 ahead of the release of the fourth game.
Meanwhile, next year is a critical point in the Legend of Zelda’s history, in 2016 the franchise celebrates its 30th anniversary. What better way could there be to celebrate the franchises 30th anniversary then to see the biggest and potentially best Zelda game hit the Wii U during such a major milestone.
If you think about it both of these games delays do seem suspicious, as if they were pre-planned and the original 2015 release that the developer announced was never the case. Both games clearly have a case for being delayed from their originally announced release window, but it is likely more than just to improve the game, clearly given recent events and announcements both games have more reason behind their delay then meets the eye.
Depending on how you think about it the recent announcement of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection can be viewed in a variety of ways. The first of these is as a peace offering for the delay of the new game, the second is the developers getting us ready for the new game, and the third is something that was pre-planned. Yes, it could be said either way the developers were getting us ready for the new game, that is clearly the case but the fact we are seeing the new collection come towards the end of 2015 and Uncharted 4 arriving in early 2016 does seem pretty convenient.
Just about everything is pre-planned by developers and I think at times the dates we the public are given are often completely different to the ones the developers have. Being perfectly honest Zelda U seeing a release was nothing but a fake out that Nintendo provided us, it was clear even with how great and well done the game looked when we saw it in 2014 it was not going to arrive in 2015 like originally announced. No, I think it was pretty obvious Nintendo had it all planned that the new game would arrive in 2016 as part of the anniversary.
I think it becomes even clearer if we have a further look at the past two games in the franchise, while I can’t say there was anything suspicious about their release, it does seem pretty convenient the year both of the Wii games came out. Think about it, The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword was released in 2011 when the Zelda franchise was having a major milestone its 25th anniversary, then before that The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess was released five years earlier in 2006 commemorating the franchises 20th anniversary. Conveniently the previous two Zelda games released on a major year for the franchise and it seems pretty convenient that for the next major console instalment Nintendo would delay it to the 30th anniversary.
It’s a tactical thing, as far as we are aware Nintendo has no plans for any other Zelda related games to fill their 2016 schedule, meaning Nintendo needed something that would be truly memorable. Also they are sticking with tradition by releasing Zelda U in 2016 and following the path set in past years, something I will say works as Nintendo celebrates the 30th anniversary.
When it comes down to it both of these delays were strategic, both Naughty Dog and Nintendo knew exactly what was going on, they both had a plan, and they knew other things were coming up. Either way it can’t be denied that the delays were suspicious, particularly once we knew more about what was coming. I just wonder what other game delays have actually been under suspicious pretenses.