In the early hours of the morning, Satoru Iwata announced during a Nintendo Direct conference that Nintendo will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of of the Kirby franchise with a compilation disc for the Wii. It is expected to be something similar to what Mario got in 2010 where they celebrated his 25th anniversary with the re-release of Super Mario All Stars. Although there has been no official confirmation of which games will be making it to the release, Nintendo of America’s Twitter account confirmed that it would be seeing a release over in the states too.
This morning, I have read a lot of responses to this news and one question that seems to appear often is “Where is Metroid’s anniversary celebration?”. In August last year, the franchise marked its 25th anniversary with barely a mention from Nintendo in regards to it. From my own personal point of view, I felt that Nintendo was focusing purely on the 25th anniversary of the Zelda franchise, which quite rightly deserved a fuss made of it. However there was a slight hope that Nintendo may announce something in early 2012 to celebrate Metroid’s 25th up to August. However, this now doesn’t appear to be the case.
I can no longer turn to people and say “Well. they’re focusing their attention on one franchise at a time and that’s why we haven’t got an anniversary”. Why has Metroid been ignored? Is it because Nintendo feel they made a mistake with their latest Metroid game? Is Metroid not popular enough to deserve such a special celebration? When I awoke this morning, that’s certainly what I was feeling. Metroid went by with very little mention by Nintendo. However, there are some points that need to be looked at before we start accusing Nintendo of disregarding one of their most important franchises.
1. Metroid isn’t big in Japan
Metroid sells horrendously bad in Japan, Metroid Prime sold a mere 100k units with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption selling around 70k. Perhaps Nintendo like to focus on their more popular franchises in the East, rather than concentrate on their Western audience, which is why there might still be hope for something at E3.
2. Donkey Kong’s 30th Anniversary
The Donkey Kong franchise was first released on April 22, 1981 and its 30th anniversary was passed without mention by Nintendo. Surely Donkey Kong is a more notable franchise than Kirby AND Metroid, yet it was given no recognition. So maybe we shouldn’t feel like Metroid is singled out here.
3. Demand for Metroid
It’s clear that Metroid: Other M divided the fan base in terms of what they enjoyed when it came to a Metroid game. I won’t go into the details too much but it almost feels like there were more negative comments than positive ones. If the demand for Metroid isn’t there, why would Nintendo mark its anniversary? Perhaps fans could have been more constructive in their approach to Other M?
We could also talk about conflicting anniversaries and which franchise is worth mentioning for Nintendo to net more profit over an annual period. We can even argue how Metroid is more popular than Kirby (and vice versa). But lets face it, with Kirby been the star of the show this year, any hope of an official celebration of Metroid’s 25th anniversary has been sucked dry. Let me just say that I think it’s nice that a series like Kirby is getting some special recognition, it’s a great franchise and I personally love it. But at the same time I can’t ignore this feeling that i’ve been let down by Nintendo on this one, sorry.
What are your thoughts? Be sure to comment!