While we know that Eiji Aonuma and his team at EAD are hard at work on Nintendo's next Legend of Zelda console title for the Wii U, could Retro Studios be lending a hand with some of the development duties for what some have called Nintendo's most ambitious title yet?
It's no secret that many a fan has speculated such a theory before, and just recently in an interview Retro neither confirmed nor denied what they were working on currently, even when asked point blank about a possible Zelda project. But while this is all based on past rumors, when aligned properly, there are signs that point to such a theory being a possibility.
Back in 2012, rumor had it that Retro was tasked with developing engines for Nintendo's then brand new console, as well as helping other developers implement them. Supposedly, even Epic Games was very impressed with what they saw.
If true, could the fruits of this labor be utilized in the Wii U's upcoming Zelda title? The game was rumored to be the most massive undertaking the company has ever done, both in cost and manpower. Hundreds of people are said to be involved with the project, so having a triple "A" studio like Retro involved is certainly possible.
Adding further weight to this possibility is the fact that the two biggest selling Zelda titles of all time - Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess – were done with a more "western friendly" graphical approach than other polygonal Zelda titles such as Wind Waker or Skyward Sword. Having Retro, an American based company with some immensely talented artists, handle some of the art assets, or possibly the basic engine, may not be too far fetched.
Lastly, while Retro has confirmed that they only take on one major project at a time, they also stated that they do "have a little bit of extra bandwidth to help out other entities at Nintendo", such as their contributions to Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS.Not to mention that many have speculated that Tropical Freeze may have largely been finished well before its launch in February 2014 and that the delay from holiday 2013 was a marketing tactic to give another worthy platformer - Super Mario 3D World - the holiday spotlight. So what else has Retro been doing? Could they be publically downplaying their contributions regarding other Nintendo projects?
I'm quite sure that at E3 2014, Nintendo – be it via an official conference or a Nintendo Direct – will shed some light on the status of Zelda U and what Retro is up to, but I for one would love to see an epic launch trailer for the Wii U's Zelda game with an intro stating "Nintendo EAD… and Retro Studios present…" and I have a strong feeling that I'm not alone.