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F-Zero turns 30 years old today!

Davey Cakes

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Dec 5, 2008
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I’ve always been terrible at these games.

I actually owned GX. Played it here and there. Definitely a contrast to my prior racing experiences (Mario Kart, Need for Speed). I was not great at the game, but I appreciated it.

And, I’m a big fan of all the F-Zero content in Mario Kart 8 and Smash.
 

-Arcadia-

Branded for life by her misdeeds
Aug 20, 2019
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F-zero has always sold well.

F-Zero (SNES): 2.85 million
F-Zero X (N64): 1.10 million
F-Zero Maximum Velocity (GBA): 1.05 million
F-Zero GX (NGC): 1.8 million (according to Nagoshi, 2018 interview)

If you include Climax and the VC figures for F-Zero SNES, the franchise has sold more than 7 million units, an extremely respectable figure, especially given that 2 of the 4 consoles it graced had a smallish user base. It sold more than Fire Emblem (excluding all post-2004 releases, so that we can compare similar time frames), Kid Icarus, Pikmin and Xenoblade, all active franchises.

There's no reason whatsoever for Nintendo to hold on to the franchise besides the fact that all of its consoles since 2006 have been underpowered compared to the competition, and visual oomph was always a huge part of F-Zero, ever since it came out blowing people's minds with Mode7.

Nagoshi and SEGA have said more than once they'd happily developed another title if Nintendo would let them.
It’s actually 1.5, across three regions, and you left out the two GBA successors that apparently seem to have done abysmally.

That isn’t well, by today’s standards, which is what’s being discussed. That’s additionally questionable by 2003 standards as well, and things haven’t gotten any better for the genre, with a depression all around, and even the closure of long-time favorite Psynosis.

Why should Nintendo invest their top-tier talent or money in such a small/risky return, with a much, much bigger budget to meet today’s visual standards, when they could make something that sells 10-20+ million, like much of their output today?

There isn’t a single business reason.

With Pikmin, it’s the boss’ pet project, and still hasn’t seen a new, real installment in seven years, as other Nintendo series lap it with multiple sequels. A dual screen sidescroller, at less than indie level, that cost figurative pennies to put together, and continued reheating of ready-made Wii U leftovers hardly qualify.

Kid Icarus is an abandoned modern one-off, and hasn’t seen an installment for eight years.

Xenoblade does better and better with every installment, trending upwards, despite being handicapped by release shenanigans for the first, the literal Wii U for the second, and it’s niche nature, with the latest remake selling a million in just one month. Does F-Zero have that momentum or potential? Or would it be very likely to sell worse than the 2003 incarnation, looking at the market around this genre?

Additionally, do you think that after 17 years, the Switch couldn’t output a game that lived up to F-Zero standards?
 
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Rival

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Aug 20, 2017
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I played the shit out of F-Zero when I was a kid. Never played the GameCube one unfortunately. Would totally give it
A try though.
 
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-Vyse-

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I'm just kidding, they should.

I guess Nintendo feels discouraged to make another one because there are other similar games on the market to fill that void.
Same thing goes to "2D Metroids", Nintendo probably believes it's not worth the investment because it's too saturated.
Well, they already published Metroid: Samus Returns, a 2D Metroid, a couple years ago so hopefully we see Metroid 5. I've always wanted to play a sequel to Metroid Fusion and we almost got one on the DS with Metroid Dread.
 
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Komatsu

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Oct 17, 2016
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It’s actually 1.5, across three regions, and you left out the two GBA successors that apparently seem to have done abysmally.

That isn’t well, by today’s standards, which is what’s being discussed. That’s additionally questionable by 2003 standards as well, and things haven’t gotten any better for the genre, with a depression all around, and even the closure of long-time favorite Psynosis.

Why should Nintendo invest their top-tier talent or money in such a small/risky return, with a much, much bigger budget to meet today’s visual standards, when they could make something that sells 10-20+ million, like much of their output today?

There isn’t a single business reason.

With Pikmin, it’s the boss’ pet project, and still hasn’t seen a new, real installment in seven years, as other Nintendo series lap it with multiple sequels. A dual screen sidescroller, at less than indie level, that cost figurative pennies to put together, and continued reheating of ready-made Wii U leftovers hardly qualify.

Kid Icarus is an abandoned modern one-off, and hasn’t seen an installment for eight years.

Xenoblade does better and better with every installment, trending upwards, despite being handicapped by release shenanigans for the first, the literal Wii U for the second, and it’s niche nature, with the latest remake selling a million in just one month. Does F-Zero have that momentum or potential? Or would it be very likely to sell worse than the 2003 incarnation, looking at the market around this genre?

Additionally, do you think that after 17 years, the Switch couldn’t output a game that lived up to F-Zero standards?
Still, let's take the 2005 number: GX was literally one of the top 20 bestselling titles for the NGC. By 2001-2006 standards, that's extremely solid. As for the GBA, there are only 40ish titles that moved more than one million units, out of about 1500, one of which is F-Zero Maximum Velocity. Yes, Climax apparently did perform dismally, but it was an afterthought developed by Suzak and released alongside the NDS exclusively in Japan - it'd be surprising if it sold well.

F-Zero was a top 20 for the SNES, a top 40 for the N64 and a top 20 again for the NGC. For a franchise active between 1990 and 2004, 7 million is an extremely respectable number. GX sold more than Mario Party, Pokemon XD, Mario Golf, Super Mario Strikers, Star Fox Assault and Kirby Air Ride. And, again, 7 figures on the Gamecube was a huge deal. Wipeout, a similar series with significantly less brand recognition, moved 500k units on the PS4 just by releasing a collection of ports. Wipeout HD for the PS3 also did fairly well, and it occupies roughly the same lane as F-Zero. Whether that could be repeated in Nintendo's ecosystem, however, is an open question...

We can't make a business decision by comparing a game released 20 years ago on a console that sold 20 million units with how the market is today - though I would argue a Switch game selling 1,000,000 units would still be considered a very respectable showing nowadays if there's no Zelda, Pokemon, Mario or Animal Crossing slapped on the box. By those lights, Fire Emblem should have been canceled in 2001. You may of course be right and the market for these games might be a bust, but by no means whatsoever was F-Zero ever a poor seller in any Nintendo mainline platform.
 

-Vyse-

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May 9, 2019
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Excellent graphics, sounds, and gameplay. A true classic.

My fondest memories of the game are looking down at the cities and terrain under the tracks and wondering when games would get advanced enough to let us explore down there.
I used to think the same thing the first time I raced on the Mute City track.

Also, it came with a colored comic inside the manual where Captain Falcon was shooting criminals and interacted with the other racers.

 
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Hudo

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Jul 26, 2018
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I mean, if Miyamoto doesn't know what to do with F-Zero that would justify a new game, then for god's sake just remaster F-Zero GX and put it on Switch. You don't have to improve upon perfection.
 

reptilex

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Jul 13, 2020
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People don’t buy it; it doesn’t get made. As simple as that.

If people actually bought Metroid and F-Zero, you wouldn’t be able to crowbar Nintendo off the franchises. But as they are, dedicating limited top-tier talent and time, that could go to better returns, or even just safe ones, to these two doesn’t tend to make sense.

That Prime 4 is happening, and that Nintendo keeps trying with Metroid (albeit constantly farming it to others) is somewhat of a miracle.

In this hobby, artistry has to unfortunately be accompanied by business sense. It isn’t what ’should be made‘, as much as it is, what ’should and needs to be made’.
That's the kind of stupid white collar talk that destroys productivity, value and actual businesses.

Things are not as simple and linear as budget in>profits out (unless you misjudge, miscalculate, mismanage and mispromote the product like Avengers): the reason why Nintendo is so popular is because of all those franchises in the first place, Nintendo is not going to go on for ever just feeding of 3 big franchises that stuck.

There's a reason why most companies, especially the longer lasting in any domains from Disney to Louis Vuiton or Coca-Cola are always releasing new products, iterations or versions...

Sure F-zero wouldn't warrant a AAA budget I agree on that, but all the benefits in branding and attraction, therefor valuation, therefor profit on the long-term, absolutely warrants a well made new AA F-Zero game.
 
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