35 years

What Mario's 35th anniversary could mean for Breath of the Wild 2's release

Nintendo is going all-out this year to celebrate Mario's 35th anniversary, and it's starting to feel even more likely that the same could happen for Zelda next year.

There haven't been any updates on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 from Nintendo since the company announced the game during E3 2019, but recent leaks regarding a celebration of the Super Mario Bros. series' 35th anniversary should give The Legend of Zelda fans hope that Breath of the Wild 2's release won't be that far off.

Until recently, it seemed possible that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild could be Nintendo's major fall 2020 Switch title. We don't know much about Nintendo's 2020 video game lineup beyond Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics' release in June, but we do know that Breath of the Wild 2 has been in development for quite some time.

A Tuesday report from Video Games Chronicle, however, reveals that Nintendo plans to celebrate the Super Mario Bros. franchise's 35th anniversary this year with a slew of games and products before the end of 2020. That doesn't leave much room for a The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 release in the fall, but this does give us a clearer picture of a possible release timeline aiming for 2021.

While we already knew about some of the Mario games and products, like the Mario Lego set and Universal Theme Park, gamers can also expect to see several classic Mario games ported to the Switch.

Video Games Chronicle and Eurogamer have reported that an anniversary collection containing Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy and a Deluxe Edition port of the Wii U's Super Mario 3D World are all coming to the Switch. Additionally, a new Paper Mario game closer to the original than the divisive 3DS and Wii U games is also reportedly coming to the Nintendo Switch this year as well. Couple that with rumors of Mario Kart 9 also coming in 2020, and this year should leave any Mario fan elated.

Zelda fans, however, might be a bit dismayed to find out that this probably means no new Zelda games until 2021.

A port of Super Mario 3D World for Nintnedo Switch finally appears to be in the cards for 2020.

All this dedication to Mario in 2020, however, probably means Nintendo has plans for just as much Legend of Zelda fanfare in 2021 for the franchise's 35th anniversary. Nintendo seems keen on celebrating the anniversaries for its biggest franchises.

While it may be disappointing that any new Zelda games might be pushed back to 2021, for Breath of the Wild 2 to be released right around The Legend of Zelda's 35th anniversary makes a lot of sense.

February 21, 2021 will mark 35 years since the release of the first game in the series, so if Breath of the Wild 2 won't make a fall 2020 release, then an early 2021 release right around that time seems fitting.

The Inverse Analysis

While there's a chance that the game will sink further back into 2021 due to coronavirus, it would make sense for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 to release for Nintendo Switch sometime around the franchise's 35th anniversary. If Nintendo's going through the effort to port all those classic Mario games over to Switch, we can only hope that Zelda titles like Skyward Sword and Wind Waker HD get the same treatment if the series takes 2020 off. Big Mario plans in 2020 likely means not much for Zelda until next year, but all signs do point to the Breath of the Wild sequel coming out sooner rather than later.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is currently in development for Nintendo Switch.

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