One series we're sure many Nintendo fans would love to see make a return is the F-Zero. Although the Nintendo 64 version got a re-release in March via the Switch Online service, there hasn't been a new entry in the futuristic racing series since the 2004 Game Boy Advance title, F-Zero Climax.
So, will this classic Nintendo series ever make a return? Former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé (who is currently busy promoting his new book Disrupting the Game) was asked by GamesBeat why F-Zero was "abandoned" by Nintendo?
The way Reggie sees it - at least based on his own history with the company - is that it's "never" a conscious decision made by Nintendo to stop supporting certain series. It's actually just experimenting with new and different gameplay styles and how they could be applied to either new or existing series.
He seems to think there's a good chance that someone within Nintendo's HQ could be experimenting with an idea that could be a good fit for a future F-Zero game. Here's exactly what he had to say:
"Why was F-Zero abandoned? The insight I would share is that, at least during my tenure, Nintendo developers were always experimenting with different gameplay styles, always thinking about where a unique experience could be applied back, either to an existing franchise or maybe creating a new franchise. My bet is that somewhere in the Kyoto development centers, some developer is playing around with an idea that might be applied to F-Zero. It’s never a situation, at least in my experience, where the company makes a conscious decision not to continue supporting X-Y-Z franchise. Historically it just hasn’t worked that way, not when I was there."
This isn't the first time we've heard a former Nintendo person talk about the return of F-Zero, or a future entry requiring something unique. In fact, last year - former Nintendo staffer Takaya Imamura said there was still life in the racing series, but it needs a "grand new idea" to bring it back. Shigeru Miyamoto also mentioned in 2012 how he felt the series hadn't really evolved.
What do you think a new F-Zero game would need to do to evolve the series? Leave a comment below.
Doesn’t inspire much confidence because everything one would want from a new F-Zero is already there. They just won’t make the game
Its ironic that they are waiting for someone to come up with a "unique idea" in order to make a sequel for an eagerly awaited series that has been dormant for over 15 years when they are the same ones that made the New Super Mario Bros. Series.
Same goes for Star Fox, just make the game it already is. Don’t need a two screen gimmick or some other reinvention in order to make the game.
Metroid Dread was just more Metroid as its been, no? Didn’t it sell well enough? Presumably the new Metroid Prime will be... more good old Prime? 🤷♂️
We don't need or want, clever or unique. It's F-Zero, fast, fun, racing. Just make us a game ALREADY!!!
Christ, just give it online.
@NinChocolate I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say. I think the problem is, and as silly as it it is, is that companies like Nintendo feel they have to continually innovate, as to not appear as though they are being lazy. F-Zero is a racing game, that's all it needs to be. It's when they 'Innovate' like they have done with Starfox in the past that it all goes wrong. it doesn't need fixing.
Reggie can F-Zero himself!
@NintendoKnight completely agree. Know what would be a great new idea for the series? HD visuals. Or perhaps online. That'd be new.
Nintendo isn't creative these days anymore anyway, so I highly doubt they'll make a new F-Zero game..
Innovate in the tracks and that’s it! We don’t need any gimmick. Just give us more F-Zero gad dammit!
A true sequel to F-Zero GX
Make it a GT style game with tinkering and a story of why captain falcon began racing. He is a bountyhunter after all. Maybe include a track builder.
Done. That’ll sell!
@NinChocolate Err... The concept for Dread had been floating around for years, they just couldn't get it to work.
@YANDMAN i hear that. I’d add that Nintendo likes to preach continual innovation sometimes more than it practices it on a certain level. It’s more like they look for new marketing angles to dangle in front of games that mechanically are fairly iterative 20 - 30 years into some of these series.
@PtM To me Metroid Dread was a smoother playing version of Samus Returns, a game boy remake, with some cat and mouse platforming segments not unlike certain points in Fusion
Famicom Detective Club got ground-up remakes and Mario Strikers is getting a sequel. I think F-Zero will see the light of day again in some form eventually.
Should change this site's name to reggieslife lol
I could believe that Nintendo prioritizes putting resources into new IP over certain past series like F-Zero, with the belief that it will garner more sales and attention.
It’s not impossible that Nintendo looked at past series like F-Zero, but instead put their people to work on making Arms. Totally possible that Arms got made instead of a new F-Zero
”grand new idea”
How about a 2.5d side scroller where you collect sheep to trade for F-Zero branded washing powder.
I wonder what Nintendo Life's next daily article about something Reggie says will be about tomorrow? We all wait with bated breath.
Not just F-Zero. There hasn't been a Wave Race game since Blue Storm on GameCube. That series needs to return (both at all, and to form). Pretty much the same kind of thing for 1080.
@WadeMcG I would love a new wave race more than even F-Zero. Probably Nintendo is lacking the software infrastructure to bring these series back. They would probably outsource, like they did with the final F-Zero. But they may also feel that the marketing is too narrow for the demographics they are currently targeting to make those investments 🤷♂️
@Would_you_kindly to be fair, Reggie technically knows more about Nintendo than anyone working here.. (no slight to this fine site)
Better than kitandkrystalife, no?
Just do a Mario Kart 7 …. Strap on some Jets on those big aerial F-Zero jumps to turn them into airships for a few seconds and that’s it.
At least that was the “innovation” of MK7 and we know how that went.
Give me a new Pilot Wings
Just.... give us a new F-Zero. It really doesn't need to be gimmicky.
Not. Everything. Needs. To. Have. Gimmicks. Nintendo.
They can be so stubborn over there....
it's never been a massive seller for Nintendo, last time it was farmed out to SEGA, not sure Nintendo will bring another out, although the Switch effect could make it the best selling in the franchise, just like Metroid Dread.
I would like it to be a 120FPS racing game. Here’s hoping for a 120hz display in the switch 2. My tv and other devices are ready.
Can't you just have a little word with them Reggie, you know, for old times sake.
Make it happen, I'm sure they'll listen to you. 😀
Don’t worry it’s been nearly 20 years but there’s still hope!
@johnvboy Dread may have been the best selling, but the market has increased exponentially so per capita it might have had the poorer sales.
And let's be frank, all of us here hoping for F-Zero + Wave Race + 1080 + Star Fox + Pilot Wings, we're hardly the heart of the market anymore.
Yeah. Just look at Paper Mario or any Mario sports game these days; They lack the magic and originality that made the original games great (Thousand Year Door, Mario Power Tennis etc).
Although Kirby and the Forgotten Land really is a (rare) and creative gem!
So true, but just feel these games could take advantage of Nintendo's current situation.
And the market has not increased as much as we think, the core market is around 180 million consoles and has been for generations now, there is just more revenue due the the price of games and DLC/Online.
Nintendo are operating in and out of this, mainly out in their own sphere, and games on the Switch have a massive sales potential, in particular first party software, so any of their older franchises could see the light of day again.
Honestly, sometimes, you don't need some new gameplay style to make a new entry into the series. Just expand on what came before.
For example, GP Legend has a story mode, where several characters have their own storylines to play through. Expand upon that, and give every character in the series their own story to play through.
But if Nintendo is really insistent about shaking up the gameplay, you don't have to limit the gameplay to races only. How about making a GTA-like F-Zero game? You could also throw in gameplay similar to No Man's Sky or Starlink: Battle For Atlas.
I, for one, would love to know how people get from one world to another. Maybe by some sort of intergalactic highway? It could be like that recent Milky Highway short film on YouTube; check it out, by the way.
Even if it doesn't sell well, Nintendo can afford give the fans an F-zero. Just one release in HD and I could die happy.
What's the idea needed here? It's a racing game. Like Mario Kart. Each console generation sees new tracks and racers with whatever QOL bumps the new console offers. That should be the plan. Nintendo doesn't need to reinvent the wheel to justify bringing back a popular franchise, an excuse they've offered many times
For better or worst, what Reggie describes is what we already know is Nintendo's game making process.
Take splatoon for example, characters were just a bunch of boxes and once they managed to find the fun in the gameplay, then they applied a franchise to it, which was a new IP in this particular case.
So unless a franchise is well established with a big fanbase, Nintendo will only revive it if they can apply something new and exciting to it.
Reggie still hanging round Nintendo's head office, looking for his old job back, 🤠👍
Ahh don't be doing this to me. I think if there was going to be another F-Zero game there would have been one already.
@UnbreakableAlex Ha! if only 120FPS would be nice for sure but you know what Nintendo are like they never make beefy hardware when compared to everybody else.
We need the death race online. This is my most wanted return.
@moodycat I don't I ever considered Mario Kart & F-Zero to be the same thing... I always owned both games on a console and played both when I was in the right mood.
I believe the lack of new idea isn't the issue. The real issue is the game just doesn't sell and the reason for that was because of the high difficulty. Nintendo just need to include a casual mode in the game one where beginner players could easily get into the game. F-Zero is a fun series just that the difficulty was ramp up way too high in almost all the tracks and circuits so it's only accessible for core gamers only. I remember some of my friends who play F-Zero GX got as far as chapter 4 in Story Mode and just quit the game altogether. I mean it works with Fire Emblem Awakening, I think had it not gotten a casual mode that it would not had ever revive the franchise back to success the way it did.
Well no offense Reggie but you're not with the company anymore so why am I suddenly reading about your opinions daily?
So many other series haven't evolved either.
This is a commercial decision. Nintendo just wants to put out the 'safe' Mario/Pokemon/Zelda/Animal Crossings and lazy spin-offs there off. Unless a game sells in the tens of millions they don't care. Long term fans like myself end up losing interest and playing games elsewhere. Bad business decision in the long run I feel.
F-Zero, Wave Race, Pilotwings, Starfox, Yoshi are all great IP that Nintendo could bring back yet we get garbage like Mario Golf, Switch Sports and an endless glut of Pokemon games.
The fact that Mario Kart 9 seems to be very far away makes me think that Nintendo might give F-zero another chance to shine. But after so many years of disappointment I already moved on, whenever I see those news that just give false hope I just ignore them completely. I rather focus on celebrating the ones we already have which are awesome.
@SteamEngenius Nintendolife are just paraphrasing his book…..I imagine we’ll get umpteen more articles along the same lines yet. I’d rather see reviews on here to be honest but they’ve all up dried up.
Nintendo's biggest seller is a racing game. Seems mad they wouldn't support another established series of racing games. We haven't even had a F-Zero title in the 'online' era. Oh and F-Zero X > GX
@NintendoKnight New Super Mario Bros. sells more.
It's been almost 20 years since the last F-Zero I don't believe for one second after all this time Nintendo can't come up with anything for a new F-Zero they dont want to make a new F-Zero, they don't care about F-Zero because it doesn't sell
@NinChocolate Metroid Prime 4 could be a open ended game, given that Retro Studios tried to make Metroid Prime 3 a open ended game.
Nintendo could reivent the next F-Zero as a action adventure game with racing elements, that how they can differentiate from Mario Kart.
I had F-Zero GX and personally, I don't see what all the fuss was about. That said, for the people who do love the franchise, these frequent articles about how Nintendo might make a new one with super vague evidence or quotes to back up the claim just seems like rubbing salt in the wounds.
There is no reason for FZero to be one of many abandoned franchises. So many companies would love to do a sequel I expect.
There's nothing that NEEDS innovating though. Just give it nice graphics and online multiplayer.
One of F-Zero’s claims to fame is being a technical showpiece for the hardware it’s on. If Nintendo ever does play catch up with the competition’s processing power, they’d be mad not to revive the IP.
"It’s never a situation, at least in my experience, where the company makes a conscious decision not to continue supporting X-Y-Z franchise."
Tell that to Earthbound.
I think exploring legacy, dormant and/or neglected Nintendo IP's in new ways would be refreshing. I'm probably in the minority of people who actually really enjoyed Star Fox Adventures departure from the series norm and could see something similar being done with Captain Falcon & F-Zero like Adventures as a way to really flesh out or add to that property's, characters, world & lore.
Meanwhile Star Fox could do something different like go the route of that rumoured aerial vehicular space racing game- I'm thinking something akin to Diddy Kong Racing with a bigger focus on weapons & battle, which has also been underrated and neglected imo. Just some thoughts (and hopes)!
Of course not every series needs to have a wholly new idea, hook or gameplay mechanic… someone’s updated more of what’s great is sufficient too.
… Wun can only hope.
Never played f zero but love crash bandicoot & crash 4 is very close to the original trilogy & is an amazing game so not everything needs to change with time
How is Splatoon 3 “innovating” over 1 and 2? I’m not seeing anything truly evolutionary there. That’s why I feel this isn’t a consistent stance to have on f-zero. I would love a mode where you upgrade your car- a story mode where an unknown racer takes on the guise of Captain Falcon after he’s gone missing- or some other trope…
F-Zero already differentiates itself from Mario Kart. It’s focused on speed and precision maneuvering over kart combat.
They are entirely different games. There is no reason Nintendo couldnt support both franchises. F-Zero is closer to games like Burnout than it is to Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing.
I read this as we can expect another Mole Mania soon.
The comment section here is always so annoyingly toxic.
If most of you wanted more of the same, buy a GameCube and Wii U. Oh wait....they kinda flopped. The sales of these games (and the respective hardware) have dwindled generation to generation because they are mostly the same game remade over and over. Zelda sales is a proof of this.
What purpose would F-Zero serve when Mario Kart 8 has sold 45 million units?
I'm a huge F-Zero fan myself but if they charge $70 for a game, I'm not going to buy it. If its a $40 game, it'll probably be barebones and or *****.
So then what is the point exactly? Mario Kart 8 is kinda like the two series combined already. It sucks. Sure. But I don't see where F-Zero fits in the equation to get me to buy it.
These games sold so well because they innovated.
And a new F-Zero during the same time whilst a super successful Mario Kart 8 exist won't sell. Full stop. Metroid does not really have a Nintendo competitor since Zelda is totally different and even then it isn't exactly a 10 million seller yet.
Of note, I actually held off buying Mario Kart 8 Deluxe till the extra tracks were announced because I was holding onto hope (I also never got games like Fast RMX) ...I speak with my wallet....yet even I've caved in.
I would be surprised to see F-Zero return this gen because I don't really see myself owning (or playing) two $70 racing games.
It's just how it is.
Perhaps they are playing with ideas for next generation for a big revival or something.
I dunno but honestly I doubt it as all games HAVE new ideas and Mario Kart 8 stole F-Zero's thunder IMO.
Not many people really plays or buys the same game but with updated graphics twice...unless its literally the same game for a different platform, a sequel (which requires new ideas) or a compilations/remaster/remake (which also including new experience for some players).
Skyrim isn't Oblivion. Dread is not Fusion.
Remakes and remasters are often not the same and are compilations targeted at fans who missed the game or parts of the game the first time round.
NO LEGIT GAME COMPANY TARGETS COLLECTORS. YOU ARE NOT THEIR MARGET.
So I'm tired of the NSO bashing (another story entirely) and the "we buy the same games" bs that floats around every time a Nintendo article is written....cause the answer is, it is BS.
Adding a bit more, the literal difference between Mario Kart and F-Zero are very minor. They have:
-slightly different playstyle (some crossover of tracks and names now)
And that's about it.
So how are they going to make either series fresh so that the next games sells more the previous?
If they all just copy the Smash formula and add new characters/tracks, it gets a little boring.
Are you going to pay $80 for both?
I highly doubt that.
Capcom has a lot of fighting series and most of them don't sell for that reason.
Literally, a better idea would be to integrate F-Zero into Nintendo/Mario Kart X as a "hardcore deathmatch mode" and then make each game have only certain F-Zero, Mario and Mii characters come back.
@OrtadragoonX Umm...tell that to Capcom who has a lot of fighting series and most of them don't sell for that reason. Strange right?
Literally, Switch Sports and Mario Sports have HUGE differences and most Mario Sports would likely sell 2-3 million on a good run. There's a lot of sports though and the difference between them is huge.
If they are to take the strategy you mentioned, F-Zero, Diddy Kong Racing/Donkey Kong Barrel Blast, WaveRace, etc will be the niche titles that come every few generations and selling a couple of million whilst Mario Kart is the water-downed version everyone can play version that sell gangbusters every generation with crossovers from the other series.
I think perhaps that is their...goal...moving forward.
@PortuGuy Splatoon has no Nintendo competitor though whilst Mario Kart 8 LITERALLY stole F-Zero's thunder with the top-end graphics and "anti-gravity" mechanic.
@DiggleDog Yeah. I agree and honestly Mario Kart 8 LITERALLY stole F-Zero's thunder with the top-end graphics and "anti-gravity" mechanic anyway.
@NinjaWaddleDee I won't play $70 for that. Sorry.
@Madao Yes. Seriously, people say they want the same thing all the time but sales indicate they don't or Zelda wouldn't have need BotW.
@AstroTheGamosian I like the idea but it wouldn't be F-Zero anymore.
Most likely, I think they will integrate F-Zero, DK Racing, Wave Race, etc into Nintendo/Mario Kart X as a "hardcore deathmatch mode" or "alternative challenges" as hey kinda started in 8 and then make each game have only certain F-Zero, DK, Mario, etc and Mii characters come back.
Then they can make these other niche games like how Switch Sports and Mario Sports differentiate from each other by being extremely different.
The whole GTA-F-Zero would be a totally different idea and spin-off and I think it could actually work really well. Great pick.
@KBuckley27 Its not that they don't have new ideas. Its that it has be different and new enough that they can't put into Mario Kart and sell it for 10x as many copies?
Edit: What did you think Mario Kart 8 was? To me when I first saw it, it was a Mari-Kart skinned F-Zero-lite.
@Xiovanni GTA-style F-Zero was what @AstroTheGamosian also suggested. Its actually would make a great spin-off too IMO.
Maybe they can make it like a mix of Midtown Madness and GTA?
As for actual F-Zero. I think it needs to really differentiate itself but not FOREVER for Nintendo to maintain (so no track editor thingy) for it to be revive. Also F-Zero was one of those games that showcase the Nintendo's hardware potential and the Switch is really more middle-of-the-road level.
They've given us this nonesense line plenty of times before, and while I understand it conceptually, it has been a long time since and F-zero game, We aren't asking for a yearly release, just to see one game every now and then.
And there have been plenty of technological improvements, online play being the most obvious, they could create the perfect F-zero game now, something that allows online play with a full 30 players but with graphics like f-zero gx (or even better)
And really, "we don't want to make a game without some sort of new spin or technology" doesn't make sense when we've recieved yet another mario kart with absolutely no new features, in fact with less features, how is that okay, but giving us 1 f-zero game isn't allowed?
Honestly I would give this one the Metroid Prime treatment. I would make a third person cyberpunk semi-open world to explore, do on foot combat and quest systems and then also have the epic races both on official tracks and in the streets.
@Mauzuri there are tons of examples of creativity from Nintendo over recent years...
Splatoon, Arms, BOTW, Mario Odyssey, the Switch itself. Labo, game builder garage. Not all of it might be your cup of tea but there's certainly no evidence to suggest there's no creativity.
I've been waiting decades for a new Advance Wars.
Well, if you say so. What, pray tell, does BotW do to make it special? Because it seems yet another generic open world game that people only praise because it has the Legend of Zelda attached to it..
@Mauzuri oh, ok, that's your response. In that case there is absolutely no point in me explaining further. It seems to me that the problem is not a lack of innovation on Nintendo's part but your inability to perceive it.
This argument is completely flawed. You can add a new power-up, enemies and obstacles to 2D Mario and it changes how you play it. You don't really have that with F-Zero. And it seems at least NSMB2 was done by younger staff?
As others have mentioned, recent years have shown that with Nintendo no franchise is truly shelved. They released the FDC remakes just last year after all.
I have only played the first F-Zero game, around the period when Super Nintendo came out. Although I heard about other games in the series, it was the only real experience I had with the franchise. Based on this, perhaps to evolve a new F-Zero game on Switch, might be HD visuals with a futuristic Story Mode experience. Along with boss elements. In terms of gameplay maybe it can involve some ideas from Yoshi’s Safari, where racers would encounter giant robot mechas (what they used for the koopalings), and maybe some ideas from Sonic boss battles with Eggman, as the 3D Sonic games are kinda like racers in a way.
Honestly, I can't put together why everybody is so rampant about wanting a new F-Zero game. It may not be everyone's cup of tea anyway.
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