Nintendo does not often offer its classic franchises to third-party developers. Only with a precise combination of quality, consumer appeal, and creative control will Nintendo even consider handing off one of its big IP’s to an outside company. The Legend of Zelda is no exception. Only a few rare third-party studios have had their hands on Zelda, each with a varying degree of success. However with the success of Koei Tecmo’s Hyrule Warriors, we should discuss what other third-party developers deserve a chance to make their own Zelda game.

I’ve heard certain fans express interest in a Zelda game developed by Bethesda Game Studios, especially considering the success of that studio’s medieval epic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. That choice makes some sense, as the fantasy RPG formula of Skyrim invites Zelda-style adventure and exploration. While I think this could work, I personally would like to see another RPG developer make a Zelda game. Japanese developer From Software, known for games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, has proven that they can make a solid action-adventure RPG that takes cues from older Zelda titles. Sure these games are extremely difficult. But with the Zelda team making an effort to develop a more open, less straightforward experience, who’s to say From Software couldn’t handle the series?

There are many third-party developers that deserve a chance to produce a 2D Zelda as well. One example that I’d like to see is a Zelda game developed by WayForward Technologies. This studio developed great additions to classic 2D series like Contra 4 and Ducktales: Remastered; they even developed Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage, a loving homage to Zelda II. WayForward and other smaller studios could do great things in a 2D Zelda.

But what dream third-party developer is most deserving of the Zelda license? Which developer would and should make a new Zelda game? Just remember that not every high-profile developer can handle classic Nintendo franchises like Zelda, such as a certain team of ninjas and a certain guy named Phillip.

Share your suggestions in the comments, and join the Daily Debate!

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