While Nintendo certainly brought out its big guns at E3 this year, showing off the first trailer for the greatly anticipated Star Fox Zero and unveiling the latest Legend of Zelda 3DS title, one of the company’s biggest games was mysteriously M.I.A.: Zelda Wii U. While Nintendo had previously announced in April that the title would skip E3 this year, many fans assumed the worst for the missing title, with rumors spreading that the game had encountered issues or was even being drastically reworked.
But in an interview with IGN, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime was quick to dispute the rumors and offered assurances that the game is still being worked on.
When pressed about the no-show for Zelda Wii U, Fils-Aime explained the absence by stating that the title isn’t planned for 2015, and that Nintendo wanted to highlight games with a more immediate release date. With Nintendo aiming to have Star Fox Zero, Yoshi’s Wooly World, and its other E3 titles on shelf by the Holiday season, Zelda Wii U simply wasn’t seen as a priority for the show.
Despite this stance, Nintendo luminary Shigeru Miyamoto claimed that Nintendo actually cobbled together a new trailer for Zelda Wii U, which the developer described as “great,” but the Big N opted not to show the footage.
This lead many to question why Nintendo would show footage for the game in 2014 but then skip the following year. Fils-Aime explained this choice by stating that Zelda Wii U was originally going to be a 2015 game, hence the showing in 2014, but since it has been delayed well into 2016, the company decided not to have the game at this year’s show.
For fans worrying that Zelda Wii U’s E3 no-show is a harbinger of something worse, Fils-Aime waved away concerns by reinforcing that the game will see release in 2016. He also squashed the rumor that the E3 skip could be related to the game being delayed for Nintendo’s long-rumored NX console, reiterating that the title will be released for Wii U.
For fans wondering when Zelda Wii U will eventually see the light of day, Fils-Aime says it’s not anytime in the immediate future, stating that it’s definitely not a “next six-to-eight-months type of game.”
While Zelda Wii U’s absence definitely left many Zelda fans nervous, it sounds as though Nintendo has simply opted to focus on the immediate future instead of showing off what the company has in store down the line. Thankfully, E3 wasn't entirely Zelda-less, with the debut trailer of The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes being shown along with a trailer for the 3DS port of the hack and slash Hyrule Warriors, but many fans are still clamoring for information about Link's first true Wii U outing.
The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is due for release at some point in 2016.