Does Nintendo's 'Hyrule Warriors' for Wii U Have Franchise Potential?

If there's one thing that Nintendo could use, it's a new breakout hit franchise that fans will look forward to on future consoles. Could the upcoming 'Hyrule Warriors' be such a hit?

Jun 3, 2014 at 7:37AM

The original Super Smash Bros was a groundbreaking game for Nintendo (NASDAQOTH:NTDOY). Created by second-party studio HAL Laboratory as a way to enter the traditionally difficult fighting game genre, the first prototype of the game was made without Nintendo's knowledge because creator Masahiro Sakurai feared that the company wouldn't allow the developer to create a fighting game with its characters. Fortunately, the company eventually allowed Sakurai to move forward with the game based on his highly polished and balanced prototype.

Super Smash Bros for the N64 managed to succeed where so many other fighting games have failed, making a name for itself and launching a very successful franchise that will see its fourth release later this year. Given the difficulties that Nintendo has seen in recent years, especially in regard to the lackluster sales of its Wii U console, that's just the sort of game that the company would like to create again ... one that draws in players, holds their interest, and has them wanting to know when the next entry in the series will be released each time a new console hits the market.

Could the company find such a game in the upcoming Hyrule Warriors?


Source: Nintendo

Something old, something new
While at first glance Hyrule Warriors might seem like a part of the "Legend of Zelda" series, it seems to have its own unique feel upon closer inspection. This is due largely to the fact that it is somewhat of a hybrid between Nintendo's "Zelda" games and Omega Force's "Dynasty Warriors" series.

The game will contain well-known "Zelda" characters and monsters, but will focus on beat-em-up gameplay as seen in the "Warriors" games. This amalgamation of the two franchises has the potential to draw in players who might not have been fans of one franchise or the other, potentially increasing sales more than if it were a straight "Zelda" title.

The combination also allows the game to offer new elements such as two-player co-op gameplay and the ability to play as characters other than just Link. Recurring "Zelda" character Impa is also playable in the game, and it is possible that additional characters could be added as alternate starting characters, unlockables, or even DLC to fuel replayability down the line.


Source: Nintendo

Franchise potential
If Hyrule Warriors proves popular, there are two directions that Nintendo could take a potential franchise.

One would be the obvious path of straight sequels. This would give the company a more action-oriented "Zelda"-based IP that would appeal to those who desired more hack-and-slash gameplay and less solving block puzzles and running back and forth performing RPG-like tasks. Taking this route would all but certainly lead to a boost in game sales, since both "Zelda" fans and those who enjoy beat-em-ups would be drawn to the title.

The other franchise option would be to take the same premise but to create games using other Nintendo IP options. This would be similar to what Nintendo is doing with Yarn Yoshi, the follow-up to 2010's Kirby's Epic Yarn. This would be the harder path to take, but it could draw attention in the same way that Super Smash Bros did; after all, massive fights starring well-known Nintendo characters would definitely be something to see. The problem is that not all of Nintendo's IP would be suited for this sort of a game. Star Fox and Samus Aran would likely be able to pull it off, but Mario stomping on waves of Goombas would likely loose its appeal pretty quickly.

Still, either option would give Nintendo fans a new series to look forward to, and that would be a good thing considering that the company is largely propped up by the strength of its exclusives. (If nothing else, this is proven by the number of people who say that Nintendo should start releasing its games as a third-party publisher for other consoles.)

Will the Warriors rule?
Right now, Super Smash Bros is one of the biggest draws that Nintendo has in its upcoming slate. Between it and Mario Kart 8, the company will likely see a bump in Wii U sales simply because of the strength of the franchises. Nintendo needs more franchises with that sort of appeal, and Hyrule Warriors definitely has a chance of making fans of its own when it's released. While it won't necessarily move consoles now, if it proves popular enough then it could be another must-have for Nintendo's next console.

If it's a solid game, it will also add to the Wii U's value proposition around the holidays and into next year. The more high-quality games the console has, the more value it will have as a "cheap" buy (especially in the future, when additional price cuts could occur). By the time the next "real" game in the "Zelda" franchise is released, it might even have the legacy of its "sister" franchise to live up to.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

John Casteele has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers