Nintendo CEO says ‘Legend of Zelda’ Netflix series scoop is ‘incorrect’

Satoru Iwata raises more questions than he answers about reported 'Legend of Zelda' series on Netflix.


Imad Khan

Internet Culture

Published Mar 23, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 6:06 am CDT

When the Wall Street Journal reported last month that Nintendo and Netflix were working on a The Legend of Zelda television series, the Internet went appropriately bananas. 

But Zelda fans may have to hold their horses. 

Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata told Time in an interview that report wasn’t accurate.

“As of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films, but I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information,” Iwata told Tim’s Matt Peckham.

What does that mean? Is Nintendo not working on a live-action Legend of Zelda series at all? Or the series happening, but just with another streaming service or network? Wall Street Journal cited an unnamed insider source for the original scoop, which was unconfirmed at the time by both Nintendo and Netflix. 

When it comes to vague, corporate answers, it was probably the best he could do to leave fans wondering and the press thwarted.

Peckham was astute enough to ask various other questions that shed light other of inner workings at Nintendo.

Just last month Nintendo released the New Nintendo 3DS—yes, that really is the name—in North America. Included was some zippier hardware, a right-side analog nub, and better 3D. Well, it seems the new, eye-tracking, super-stable 3D was added in last minute.

Just one week prior to the final prototyping of the New 3DS, Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong, had seen this new 3D technology. He asked “Why aren’t we putting that in this system? If we don’t put this in it, there’s no point in making the system.” And it seemed like Iwata agreed. Nintendo then scrapped the prototype and started again with the new 3D included.

Iwata also delved in deeper in regards to the Wii U’s tepid launch, and it’s high $350 price tag. He stated that “because of the valuation of the yen and the exchange rates into dollars and euro, it made it a difficult proposition for us to capitalize on that, because of the cost that we were forced to sell the system at.”

So there you have it. It was international exchange rates that forced Nintendo to sell the system at such a high price point. And even then, Nintendo lost money on each system sold. Nintendo only hit profitability when a game was also sold with a purchased console.

H/T Time | Screengrab via Justin Taylor/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) 

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*First Published: Mar 23, 2015, 6:56 pm CDT