Right now, fans are taking to social media and begging Nintendo with a single word. “Direct.”
It’s all over Twitter. You see it whenever Nintendo posts something new. It doesn’t matter what the subject is. From posts about Splatoon to images of the new Zelda, people are either asking about Directs, wondering about Directs, or telling other people to stop asking for more Directs:
This response, while hilarious, isn’t a surprise. Directs became a staple for Nintendo devotees—some enthusiasts even liked staying up late or waking up early, just to see a Direct whenever it went live. But it’s been months since the last Direct. For years now, fans have never had to wait very long to hear all about the cool new stuff coming to Nintendo consoles—in a format that was free of fluff or PR. That’s what made Directs so awesome to watch. They had substance and charm.
But Nintendo is in a weird spot right now. For many, the late Satoru Iwata was practically the lifeblood of Nintendo Direct. Fans remember Nintendo Directs fondly because of Iwata’s goofy antics. After he passed away, fans often shared GIFs, images, and artwork that riffed off of Iwata’s Direct appearances. Nintendo has said that Directs will still continue without Iwata, yes, but it’s not clear when, exactly, that will be, nor who will be coming in to replace Iwata. I imagine it’s a big decision, given that whoever presents the major Directs will probably also become the face of the company.
More than that, it seems like Nintendo doesn’t actually have much to show off for its winter releases in 2015. There’s Mario Tennis and Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, and...not much else! Have a look for yourself here. What, exactly, would Nintendo even show off in a new Direct?
The rumour floating around right now is that whatever Direct happens next, it’ll likely be for DLC of already-existing games. Smash Bros. held a ballot earlier this year where fans could vote for a new DLC character—and the winner hasn’t been announced yet. That could easily be a Direct announcement. And for months, Splatoon fans have been expecting the announcement of a playable Octoling race, especially since Nintendo seems to keep teasing it on social media. It’s also worth remembering that Splatoon has spent the last few months giving out a bevy of free downloadable goodies, too. Is it likely that Nintendo will end that run by announcing some upcoming paid content, too?
Who knows. What’s clear is this: until Nintendo dishes on the future of Directs, fans will try to vent their frustrations and hype however they can. Even if it means yelling into the Twitter void.