Today’s Nintendo Direct showed off tons of visual splendor and many games to get excited about, and even included the long-awaited reveal of the official title for the next Zelda game. The celebration wasn’t had everywhere, however, as Nintendo UK, per its announcement yesterday on Twitter, chose not to livestream the presentation as a “mark of respect during this period of national mourning.” Now, speculation is running wild over the notion that Nintendo UK’s specific reason for not streaming today’s showcase may have been the title for Breath of the Wild’s successor: Tears of the Kingdom. Check out the trailer here:
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Coming May 12th, 2023 – Nintendo Switch
When asked for comment, Nintendo told Kotaku that it has “nothing further to say on the topic besides what was outlined in yesterday’s [Nintendo UK] Tweet.”
While the whole world has been notified of the death of a person with a substantial connection to a bloody history of imperialism and colonialism, Zelda fans had to wait until the end of today’s Nintendo Direct presentation to get more info on the upcoming sequel to 2017’s critically acclaimed Breath of the Wild. The trailer for the game showed off pretty visuals, hints of gameplay, and, for the first time, the actual title, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. It’s that very title that’s leading many down the path of speculation, wondering if perhaps the name would’ve hit a sour note with those who are mourning last week’s reminder that royalty, despite what they want you to think, are mere mortals.
Tears of the Kingdom was Nintendo’s “One More Thing” today, and it wasn’t long after that Twitter became host to a wide number of folks wondering about a possible connection between the queen’s recent passing and Nintendo’s decision to not have its UK channel stream the event. Video game essayist Chris Franklin even sketched out a hypothetical scenario of the decision-making process:
Just picturing the panicked meeting where someone has cut together the Nintendo Direct and it ends on the big name change from "Breath of the Wild 2" to "Tears of the Kingdom" and then news of the Queen dying breaks
— Chris Franklin (@Campster) September 13, 2022
While Nintendo hasn’t said whether or not Tears of the Kingdom’s title reveal might’ve been a bit too topical for today’s presentation, it’s not uncommon to see content changed out of respect for complicated world events or even due to social concerns in specific territories. In today’s world of internet-first press conferences, however, it’s not as if UK gamers actually missed out. Nintendo UK’s Twitter account shared the conference on its own YouTube channel as a video on demand after the presentation was streamed on other accounts. A peek at the comments on this video, which are filled with the baseless speculation about the Zelda title and the death of the queen, perhaps provide a glimpse of what Nintendo might’ve been hoping to avoid in a live chat segment.
While it makes sense, maybe our speculative muscles are better reserved for tweezing out lore details from the new trailer.
Update 09/13/2022 2:25 p.m. ET: The article was updated to include a statement from Nintendo on the topic.