As time goes on in the videogame industry, the Futuristic Racer genre continues to struggle. One of the granddaddies of the genre, F-ZERO, missed an entire generation since its inception on the SNES. Maybe with the Wii’s hardware, all we would’ve gotten was just another F-ZERO GX on our hands, i.e. not that much different (except for maybe an online component). But hey, looking towards the Wii U and its increased horsepower, maybe we might be zipping through the tracks in HD and with online multiplayer, right? Well not quite.
Shigeru Miyamoto, the original producer of F-ZERO, talked to IGN about F-ZERO, stating that “I think where I struggle is that I don’t really have a good idea for what’s new that we could bring to F-Zero that would really turn it into a great game again.” He continues with the mention that he’s seen fans online look at Mario Kart 8‘s anti-gravity feature and compared it to F-ZERO (or for some, Sony’s equally weapon heavy WipeOut series).
He then talks about Nintendo’s old partnerships with third parties on their franchises, like Namco Bandai with Star Fox and Sega’s Amusement Vision with F-ZERO GX. “Obviously in the past we’ve tried to work with other companies, where we’ve let them develop games for us in franchises like Star Fox and F-Zero…” he says. “…But the more we think about it, the more we prefer to be able to create those games internally, on our own.
Different companies, different visions I suppose. While Nintendo would like more control over their own franchises, the cost of making them on the Wii U has increased (at least for Nintendo). With that in mind, they’ll probably have to be more selective as to which franchise they tackle next, at at least find ways to make development more cost efficient. Remember, we’re talking PS3/360 numbers here, with $18-$28 million being the standard dev costs, much higher than what you could spend on Wii development.
Then there’s the fact that this happened…