In the latest episode of The Game Informer Show, a tease from senior editor Imran Khan is certain to get fans of The Legend of Zelda excited. Chiming in as his co-hosts speculated on the next possible entry in Nintendo's action-adventure franchise, Khan stated that "the next Zelda will probably be sooner than we think."
While the details provided are next-to-none, the podcast's host, Ben Hanson, did ask Khan if the entry would be a co-op title from the team behind 2015's Tri Force Heroes. Khan responded with a vague "not exactly."
Since 1998's classic Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64, Nintendo has published a new Zelda title every one to two years, and it stands to reason that we may see a new release before the end of 2019. But what will it be?
Looking at the past release schedule, major console Zelda entries have typically been followed by a series of handheld or experimental entries. For example, after 2011's Skyward Sword fans saw a smaller adventure in A Link Between Worlds and a multiplayer experience with Tri Force Heroes. These titles put a six-year interval between Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild, and it seems reasonable that Nintendo would follow a more protracted development cycle with the sequel to the Switch's juggernaut entry.
Perhaps then 2019 will bring a small-scale Zelda adventure like The Minish Cap or Phantom Hourglass to Switch. Or maybe it will be a unique entry that offers new gameplay options in the way that Four Swords Adventure and Tri Force Heroes have done previously. If Khan's "not exactly" is meant to be taken as more than a casual shirking of Hanson's question, it could be understood as a suggestion that the latter is most likely — a co-op title not developed by the team behind Tri Force Heroes.
That said, there is one outlier that is always exciting to consider when making guesses about what the next Zelda will bring. Released less than two years after Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask brought an odd and full-scale Zelda experience back to Nintendo 64 in short order. In large part, the expedited timeline for the release of Majora's Mask was due to its use of Ocarina of Time's game engine, and, certainly, many fans would welcome a similarly strange entry built with the engine established by Breath of the Wild.
While 2019 is already set to bring new Animal Crossing, Pokemon, and Luigi's Mansion to Switch, a great Zelda entry would certainly contribute to another stand-out year for Nintendo. Regardless of the final form this new release assumes, many will simply be excited to hear that a new The Legend of Zelda may be on the not-so-distant horizon.
Source: The Game Informer Show