Nintendo certainly has taken good care of its franchises as far as the Nintendo Switch is concerned, as we’ve gotten new games in the Splatoon, Super Mario, and Legend of Zelda series this year alone. Not to mention Metroid is getting some love with a fourth Prime game, as well as Samus Returns on the 3DS.
And 2018 will be chock full of returning IPs as well, as the company has big plans for what lies ahead. Could Donkey Kong possibly be part of that mix?
We haven’t seen the big ape host a game of his own since Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the Wii U, so we’re obviously due for a new adventure in the series. And from a hint suggested by Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime, we might just be getting one.
Reggie recently took part in an interview with Time Magazine, and the interviewer asked, “Two of the Switch's biggest games, Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, are significant re-imaginings of those franchises. Both add aspects that were never possible before and revamp core gameplay elements. Why is now the right time to be rethinking those series?”
Reggie was quick to respond. “I think what you highlight with Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey is certainly that the way those games have reimagined the intellectual property (IP) is different. I would say that Breath of the Wild is a dramatic departure from the conventions of a Zelda game. And the producer Mr. [Eiji] Aonuma said three years ago that was his vision. The fact that you could go anywhere [and] attack quests and shrines in any order you want, that was his vision.
“With Odyssey, we have had other sandbox experiences for Mario in the past: Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. What's different here is the breadth of kingdoms, the Cappy mechanic, and so yes a departure, but maybe not as radical. But with the mentality of creating an experience that the player says, 'Wow, I've never done that before with a Mario game.' That's what we try to do. Whether it's with a Metroid experience or a Donkey Kong experience, we're constantly looking to push the envelope on the IP versus doing sequential small iterations with a particular franchise.”
The interesting thing here is Reggie mentioning a “Donkey Kong experience,” even though the interviewer never brought up Donkey Kong at all. We've had a new Metroid confirmed, but a new Donkey Kong has yet to be revealed. Now, this could just be random, nothing is confirmed, but a new Donkey Kong Country for Switch in 2018 would certainly be welcome by us.
In the meantime, you can check out Tropical Freeze for the Wii U, as well as play the original Donkey Kong Country on the SNES Classic Edition. It’s well worth the revisit.