Leaks, rumors, and premature announcements happen all the time in the video game industry. Whether it's from an anonymous source or simply someone with the right connections, it's hard these days to keep a game truly secret until the publisher or developer is ready for an official unveiling.
Despite being so commonplace in this industry, it's always interesting when someone close to a game accidentally - or intentionally - name-drops a title that has yet to be announced. Such is the case with Nintendo of America's President Reggie Fils-Aime.
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A charismatic, lovable leader at Nintendo, Reggie always says whatever he wants to say and that is exactly what happened in a recent interview with TIME Magazine. When asked about Nintendo's decision to "re-imagine" both Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey this year on Switch, his response was:
"But with the mentality of creating an experience that the player says, ‘Wow, I’ve never done that before with a Mario game.’ That’s what we try to do. Whether it’s with a Metroid experience or a Donkey Kong experience, we’re constantly looking to push the envelope on the IP versus doing sequential small iterations with a particular franchise."
An interesting response on its own, noting how Nintendo now prefers large, groundbreaking entries in a franchise versus numerous games with little deviance, with the already announced Metroid Prime 4 having that same treatment be given to it. What hasn't been announced yet, though, is a new Donkey Kong game for Switch that he mentions.
Reggie name-dropping Donkey Kong could simply be a quick example for his analogy, but it is entirely plausible that that series could be the next to get the so-called "I've never done that before" experience. There hasn't been a new Donkey Kong game since Tropical Freeze on Wii U in 2014.
This coincides with the fact that its developer Retro Studios is not actually working on Metroid Prime 4 as with previous Prime games, so the possibility is certainly there. Time will tell if a new Donkey Kong game is true, and whether or not it will redefine the 2D platforming seen in Tropical Freeze or, like Super Mario Odyssey, return to its 3D Nintendo 64 roots.
Opinion: The Donkey Kong series has never been one that resonated with me personally. However, if this rumor is true, I'd be very interested to see what Nintendo would do with it seeing everything it has done with Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey this year. The only Donkey Kong game I've personally played was Donkey Kong 64, so I'd be intrigued to see if they'd return to that or redefine its 2D platforming.