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Reggie Fils-Aime on why Nintendo has abandoned F-Zero

Speaking to VentureBeat, the former face of Nintendo of America talks about the fate of Nintendo's long-neglected racing franchise.

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There are a handful of franchise staples that Nintendo keeps close by and supports regularly. There's Mario, there's Zelda, and there's Kirby, just to name a few. You know what franchise hasn't gotten support in about 20 years? The answer is F-Zero. There are questions as to why that is and former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime might have some answers.

Reggie Fils-Aime F-Zero
F-Zero GX

"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," Fils-Aime told VentureBeat. "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 seems to line up with what others have said about the long-neglected racing franchise. One of those people was artist Takaya Imamura, though he was quite insistent that F-Zero is not dead in an interview with IGN. Takayama also echoed the idea that F-Zero would be a difficult franchise to bring back without an interesting new mechanic, twist, or idea. It's a similar line of thinking that we've heard about a potential Mario Kart 9, where rumors have stated that a new installment would feature a "twist" to the usual formula.

Whether Nintendo will ever get around to cracking this difficult nut remains to be seen. We'll keep watching the F-Zero beat and we'll be back with any news, good or bad, on the series' future. As for Reggie Fils-Aime, his newest book, Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo, is available right now at retailers everywhere. There's even an audiobook narrated by the man himself.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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