They may have hired a bunch of new staff a while back and have a new game in development, but it seems like Xenoblade developer Monolith Soft isn’t planning on making another title in the series any time soon. Instead, the new hires were apparently meant for working on other Nintendo games, with which Monolith Soft has helped out in the past. As per a Gamespot article with the studio head Tetsuya Takahashi:
Back in October, Monolith Soft posted a notice about a “mass hiring” for 3D designers, and many assumed another one of these lengthy JRPGs was in the studio’s future. But Takahashi explained that that particular posting was for support roles; in the past, the company has helped on titles like Super Smash Bros. Brawl and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and more recently, both new Animal Crossing 3DS games and Splatoon. Monolith is currently supporting a handful of other Nintendo projects, specifically projects needing map design and “interesting adventure elements.”
So yeah, no third Xenoblade game in the pipeline just yet. That said, the quote does raise a few interesting questions of it’s own, namely what games the company might be working on. Projects needing map design? Interesting adventure elements? Those vague comments all seem to be pointing to one specific thing. One very well known game that Nintendo is planning to release in 2016. One that just happens to feature someone called Link in a country called Hyrule:
Think we’re being a bit too optimistic? Well, look at it this way. What other upcoming games feature a lot of action adventure elements and need help for map design? Probably not Mario & Luigi Paper Jam, given that AlphaDream tend to handle that sort of stuff pretty well on their own (their only previous instance of needing outside help was for the giant battles in Dream Team, which GoodFeel took care of). Mario Tennis Ultra Smash and Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival didn’t really have any ‘adventure’ elements to even speak of (and happen to already be out in mot regions). And out of everything that’s left, only Zelda and Star Fox Zero seem to fit the bill at all, unless Nintendo is hiding a third Luigi’s Mansion game or a gigantic Mario 64 sequel from their fanbase…
Either way, the possibility of a new Xenoblade game is roughly zero at that point, and only gets lower after seeing this:
But will we be seeing more Xeno games in the future?
“The opportunity presents itself,” Takahashi said coyly. “Usually I need to start with an interesting idea or direction that I feel it’s going to have some compatibility here but if that presented itself, I would consider doing so.”
If he needs an interesting idea or direction to start and is considering it in the future, then it’s pretty clear the company’s current game isn’t Xenoblade related. But what do you think? Are these comments proof that Monolith Soft is working on the new Zelda game for Wii U? And if it’s not Xenoblade, then what is the company’s next game going to be?