At the most recent Nintendo Direct at E3 2021, one of the things that Nintendo showed was that they were going to continue and bring back their various IP to put onto their console the Nintendo Switch. With franchises like WarioWare, Advance Wars, and more getting appearances. However, one franchise that continues to be “ignored” by the Big N is that of F-Zero.
No matter how many times fans ask for a new F-Zero game, Nintendo seems to ignore it (well that and Mother 3, but let’s not get greedy. And now, yet another person has come forward to showcase that many have tried to bring the fast-paced series back. Vitei founder Giles Goddard talked with GameXplain about the pitch he made for the franchise:
“At Vitei, after I’d left Nintendo and started my own company, it was after Steel Diver and Sub Wars. We were trying to think of stuff to do and I thought it would be really cool to have an ultra-realistic F-Zero, still with sort of really cool futuristic graphics, but just really realistic physics. We thought that’d be a really interesting thing to try out.
So we made a demo for the Switch and PC. It was also more to show the capability of our engine. We had a multiplatform engine that was running on 3DS, Switch, PC, whatever, so we just made a demo of some really cool F-Zero cars going around this crazy track, and just hundreds of the cars using AI to sort of race each other. But they’d all have realistic physics, like really ultra, sort of a bit too over-the-top realistic, so the hovering was actually caused by four jets in the bottom sort of adjusting themselves – way too over the top. But it meant that if you killed one of the jets it would end up sinking, and if you killed the other one it’d flip over and all this kind of stuff. And it was just really fun – it was like a sandbox type thing, playing around and seeing what would happen if you caused a crash there and whatever.”
GameXplain followed up by asking if Nintendo passed on the pitch – to which he confirmed. Regarding how the situation unfolded, Goddard explained:
“Yeah, Nintendo are very wary about using old IP because it’s such a huge thing for them to do. It’s much easier to go with a new idea, a new IP, than to reuse an old one.
We were stuck in a catch-22 working with Nintendo because we’d say to them, ‘We wanna do this F-Zero game. Can you give us all this money?’ And they’d say, ‘Well you don’t have enough people.’ And I’d say, ‘Well if we had the money we could get the people,” you know. So it was forever this ridiculous catch-22 with them wanting us to make a game, us pitching a game, and then them saying you don’t have enough people. Alright, so what do we do? Do we just find a lump of cash from somewhere, then get the people, then go back to you with the proposal? So it was difficult working with them.”
Difficult indeed. And his line about “using old IPs” is very odd considering how Nintendo will often go back to the well if they think they can make money off of it. This isn’t to say F-Zero won’t return, but it is getting troublesome hearing that people in the developer world want to bring it back…but Nintendo keeps denying the chance to make it happen.