Nintendo certainly knows how to build up its games with blockbuster hype, and has proven it with two releases last year: Splatoon and Super Mario Maker. Both games have gone on to sell millions of copies on the Wii U console, and now it’s The Legend of Zelda‘s turn.
The newest chapter in the ongoing adventure series, which first debuted in 1985 on the original NES, was first revealed during Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event two years ago with game footage that showed the game’s scope and vision.
Nintendo has since taken its time with unveiling new details about the game. In fact, it stayed mum for several months before showcasing some early gameplay footage during The Game Awards 2014, where producers Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma discussed what players could expect.
This year, Nintendo is going all-in with The Legend of Zelda, as it announced the game, which will release for both the Wii U and the upcoming NX console next year, will be the sole focus of its booth at the E3 show next month. The company has already promised to transform its showfloor space into an “immerse fans in the world of the groundbreaking new Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U console.” This is a surprising move, especially considering the other games that the company has lined up for the fall, including a new Paper Mario game for Wii U and a sequel to Yo-Kai Watch for 3DS. But it also indicates just how serious the company is with its forthcoming adventure.
Furthermore, the company also updated its official E3 site, featuring animated images from the new Legend of Zelda game. The site teases how Nintendo will “transform its booth at this year’s E3 to immerse fans” and notes how the livestream will include gameplay footage, developer interviews, and a look behind-the-scenes of the game. Viewers can interact with the site by scrolling or moving the mouse cursor the edges of the screen to tilt it slightly.
Nintendo has already promised to host various Treehouse specials over the course of the show, with new Zelda gameplay to be revealed to those that can’t attend, set to kick off on Tuesday, June 24th, at 9 AM PDT. In addition, it has also announced a promotion where fans can visit the Nintendo World store in New York on June 11th for a chance to play the game before anyone else.
The Legend of Zelda‘s promotion has been a slow-going so far, but it is building up excitement, and it’s a strategy that has proven effective in the past–and not just Nintendo. For instance, Sony spent the last year or so slowly but surely revealing Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. When the final product released earlier this month for PlayStation 4, it sold tremendously, with 2.7 million units bought within its first week.
The Legend of Zelda could see a very similar result, and its dual-platform release in mid-2017 may prove formidable in terms of Nintendo’s financial success. Plus, it gives the company its “killer app” to help launch its new NX console, while at the same time providing the Wii U with a proper send-off title, although the company has stated that the system won’t be discontinued right away.