F-Zero GX, Nintendo

Former Nintendo Employee Reveals Thoughts on F-Zero Absence

When the Nintendo Switch first launched, it was originally seen as Nintendo’s “last chance” to survive in the console market, and they obviously succeeded in that goal. But as time went on, people realized that Nintendo was seemingly doing all it could to bring as many of its beloved IPs to the system as possible. It wasn’t just Mario, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Smash Bros, etc., but we got two Splatoon games, Metroid, multiple Fire Emblem games, Luigi’s Mansion, and more! This gave fans hopes for other IPs to get back into the spotlight, and yet, there’s no F-Zero title.

In the beginning, that was understandable because the Switch was just starting out, and Nintendo wouldn’t likely risk it back then. But as we head toward the end of the console’s life cycle, fans have wondered more and more why we haven’t seen the cult-classic racing series return. In an interview with VGC, former Nintendo artist and designer Takaya Imamura, who has worked on MANY beloved Nintendo titles, revealed his thoughts on why F-Zero hasn’t come back:

“I think it’s a question of sales.”

That might sound blunt, but we all know that game developers look to that now more than ever. He also cited that the superior success of Mario Kart hindered the franchise overall. That’s not to say that things couldn’t return, but it would be costly:

It is easy to revive IPs, but careful consideration is needed to produce them as something that really satisfies customers.

He cited the return of Metroid via MercurySteam as proof of that, and he’s not wrong. The irony is that fans know that franchises with “low sales” can make a big splash with the right push, with Fire Emblem easily being the best example. So don’t give up just yet. The Captain might still return.