Former staffers on "mass panic" at Nintendo that Zelda / Mario wouldn't win Game of the Year

Former Nintendo staffers have revealed how there was "mass panic" that Zelda or Mario wouldn't win Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2017, instead thinking they'd split the vote and Horizon Zero Dawn would take the prize.

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thecodingart63d ago

“some other game that is less deserving could get more votes and actually win.” Is exactly what happened…

SenorFartCushion63d ago

Just sounds like you don’t have a Nintendo system. Horizon was generic and did not deserve the praise. Style over substance. Two dimensional characters and a very restricted world.

Pocahontas63d ago

2 dimensional characters is Zelda

SenorFartCushion63d ago


More like one dimensional in Zelda. How the hell were they less interesting than Horizon’s yet more likeable? The gameplay and world were also bad in Horizon. The gameplay was ok for what it was. Shooting parts off robots isn’t exactly the best, but the human fighting was good.

thecodingart63d ago

I have all the systems and a high spec’ed PC. Sounds like you may not get around though. It’s good to base judgment away from bias.

CobraKai63d ago

Zelda is great and all, but there’s nothing multidimensional about the characters. They’ve been doing the same song and dance for decades. It’s even part of the lore.

RaiderNation63d ago

I owned both a PS4 and Switch. I played both Zelda and Horizon. Horizon was a better game hands down. BOTW will go down in history as THE most overrated game in history!

Knushwood Butt63d ago

The human fighting was the worst part of the game. Moronic AI. Practically everything else was excellent, apart from a poor skill tree.

Have you even played the game?

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andy8563d ago

Horizon was generic? In that sense so was BOTW then. Awful enemy variety (4 or 5 different coloured versions of each enemy really?) and a bare bones combat system and the dungeons were a massive step down from previous entries. They all look and feel the same. And the vast majority of the bosses are all variants of Ganon. Wheres the variety?

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GotGame81863d ago

Try "walking" out of a creek bed in Zero Dawn, then do the same in WindWaker! Enough said!

notachance63d ago

lol what is up with this comment section, either you're a sony fanboy who thinks HZD is godly and BOTW is trash or you're a nintendo fanboy who thinks BOTW is the second coming of jesus and HZD is a walking simulator, both sides are fucked in the head.

As someone who puts 100+ hour to BotW, platinumed HZD and Elden Ring, every one of them easily score 80+, every single one of them is the farthest from the word trash, no need to put down one to get your point across.

JFK lmao you people can't formulate any argument without giving the other camp 0 score huh

-Foxtrot63d ago

Why is it the main defence when you say anything bad about BotW is "you are a troll" or "you haven't played it"

How can you say Horizon is generic but praise BotW?

Horizon had a concept which at least hasn't really been touched on before AAA wise, I mean robot dinosaurs roaming the lands after an apocalyptic event where humans are now put into primitive tribes?

Even with it being a post apocyptic world they still managed to put more towns, events, monuments and other things to check out in the world than BotW. It just felt like BotW being set in this post apocalyptic world was dictated by how easy it would be open world wise if there wasn't really much to see or do by using it as an excuse. "Oh yeah well there's not many towns and the like because it's set after an apocalyptic like event, that's why". See, how easy is that. So right off the bat, for me, Horizon had something over Zelda in this department, it was nice to see many real life locations in Horizon being worn down and in ruins where you could climb and explore them. Then you have other things like

Voice acting
Characters with backstories and good acting
More variety
Great side missions
Huge set piece and cinematic moments
A compelling story with mystery
Big ass dungeons (cauldrons), you know what Zelda was missing

I could go on

BotW is not a bad game but it's basically something that should have came out 10 years before, even games like Skyrim and Witcher 3 still have a shit ton over it. BotW was just barren and bare bones in places.

Imalwaysright62d ago

@ andy85

No, BoTW isn't generic and Todd Howard just recently did an interview and said why

What Howard said is what sets BoTW apart from other so called open world games that follow the same basic structure and formula because the devs behind them are so obssessed with telling what for the most part is a mediocre story that they are constantly guiding the player and that kills any sense exploration, freedom, adventure or mistery. BoTW was a breath of fresh air in open world design and gave life to a tired and stagnant genre and what's funny is that Nintendo did it by taking the IP back to its roots, back to The Legend of Zelda that is well known for its openness.

Jin_Sakai62d ago

Horizon is a beautiful game but that’s about it. The story is average and the characters are completely forgettable. Side quest are pretty dull and the world isn’t that exciting explore.

Honestly, I’d be ok with a new Killzone game or something new entirely.

curtain_swoosh62d ago

have u actually played horizon haha
breath of the wild was great, but horizan was the more impressive game. thats just a fact.

being a gan of something is great and all, but being a blind fanboy is not the best thing

-Foxtrot62d ago


Totally disagree, even with Todd saying it

He’s talking about story dictating exploration? That’s hilarious

I’m sorry but what person got out of the sewers in Oblivion or exited the cave in Skyrim after the beginning prologue section and followed the story? The majority of people saw a big open world and went “holy shit, I’m going to explore”

It’s the first thing most people do in any open world game

The exploration excuse is just to cover BotWs lack of story and what is there is pretty average.

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Imalwaysright62d ago


No he didn't say that. Watch the video if you want to know what he said and you are once again proving that you never touched BoTW. Excuse? No, the game was purposely designed to offer as much player agency and freedom as possible or in other words it was designed specifically to maximize exploration. This is something that is apparent for anyone that has played the game including Todd Howard. It's not an excuse, it's what the game is all about and exploration in Oblivion? The game that shows you the location of a caves, ruins etc in the compass even before you get there? No, Oblivion is a great game that does a lot of things right but exploration isn't one of them and when you start doing sidequests and follow the main storyline then prepare yourself because you're going to constantly be told where to go and what you to do.

You would have a better argument had you mentioned Morrowind wich is a game that was also designed to offer a great deal of freedom and player agency https://thepopculturestudio... and of all the open world games I played in the past 20 years is actually one of the 2 games that come close to BoTW in those aspects the other one obviously being Elden Ring. Another game that throwed established open world conventions out of the window and in doing so it also felt like a breath of fresh air in what otherwise is a stagnant and tired genre... and also managed to piss off western game designers wich was hilarious.

_SilverHawk_62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

If horizon looked and played like zelda botw it would be slated but if zelda botw looked and played like horizon it would be praised.

Horizon is technologically way better than zelda and has a better story. We are at a time where certain games are celebrated for doing the bare minimum but a very ambitious game thats technologically advanced over most gets nit picked for very trivial things that are overlooked for a lot of other games.

Zelda botw is a good game just like Mario odyssey but they are very overrated. Astro's playroom on ps5 is a better game than mario odyssey but I can see a lot of reviewers prefering mario odyssey because of the name. Most reviewers don't mention the time to finish the games, performance issues lack of story telling, voice acting and just so much more that horizon would be slated for if it had the same issues. Horizon is way better than botw and I can understand people preferring whichever they like.

shinoff218362d ago (Edited 62d ago )

Horizon was generic lol. You must not have played it. That first horizon was dope af. It was new it was fresh and the story especially if your into sci fi was pretty dope.

Meanwhile zelda was alright wasnt even my favorite zelda. I absolutely disliked mario odd the 2nd player option seemed cheap and tacked on at the end just so it could be labeled two players. The game itself wasnt bad but again wasnt even my favorite mario. That goes to newer smb


Thats not true at all. I thought hzd was pretty good, I didnt dislike botw it just doesnt hold up to horizon imo.

Outside_ofthe_Box62d ago (Edited 62d ago )

I hate debates between two great games because all it does is cause people to say dumb shit like "x game is generic" when clearly both games are far from it.

Do you not hear what you are saying?

"Horizon did not deserve praise"
- Really? I get that you think BOTW is better but to say that horizon did not deserve ANY praise is crazy.

- "Horizon had "bad" gameplay and world"
Again, are you serious? If there is definitely one thing Horizon did right it's the gameplay lol. Just because you like BOTW more does not mean Horizon's gameplay is bad.

This is why I don't like comparing which good game is better than which because people say some pretty wild stuff. Just evaluate each game on it's own or compare them among sequels within the same franchise.

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goldwyncq63d ago

People are still salty about 2017 I see...

Neonridr63d ago

5 years later and we still have to listen to this. Move on. And to think that Horizon 2 was equally as good and may not win again. Because a game from it's own company (Ragnorak) will win instead.

63d ago
CobraKai63d ago

It looks like there’s saltiness on both sides dude. Nintendo fans: Horizon is overrated and I’ve played it.
Sony fans: Zelda is overrated and I played it.
Gamers: They’re both great.

CrimsonIdol63d ago

"recycled ubisoft clones"
Pot, meet kettle.

-Foxtrot63d ago (Edited 63d ago )


Kind of funny though right

Nintendo Fanboys: "They are just salt Sony fanboys, look at them 5 years on cry about BotW"

Also Nintendo Fanboys: "Horizon was shit, it has nothing on BotW"

However I've seen more people give legit reasons why they THINK BotW is overrated over why Horizon is apparently a shit/terrible game

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andy8563d ago

Show me where someone wrote the comment I did then? And it's obviously spot on if there's YouTube videos about it 😂 Horizon was very innovative at the time. I don't know any game that's tried to do the type of game they did? And the combat is WAY above BOTW's. I don't think I've heard anyone refer to it as a puzzle game before either 😂 I've played both heavily you're just not wanting to see any of the big flaws for some reason.

SenorFartCushion62d ago

This site is very PlayStation-centric. It’s why I don’t expect a decent-enough answer from most people concerning my personal grievances with Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Characters don’t need dimension. Zelda characters are NOT GOOD, but they ride the mechanics. They’re empty vessels. I can put myself in their shoes because there isn’t enough writing for me to be distracted. Horizon is the opposite of this. If this is done by design, then it’s not the end of the world for me. If you try to add dimensions to the characters and fail, like in the case with Aloy and Co, the I am not going to be pleased.

I have both games. I have Horizon on digital and Zelda on cartridge. I played Zelda first and that game is why I was so critical of Horizon. I played Horizon because, regardless of the open world being archaic in design, at least there is a story, but the story and characters were all American-blockbuster level. Not good enough. Pseodointellectual at best. Games shouldn’t be this shallow if they aim to not be; it’s as simple as that. Because of game mechanics, like with Cuphead, Doom, Zelda etc the characters don’t need any personality, nor do they need a compelling story to follow. They can run through maps and levels with no dialogue or interaction. Tetris and PAC Man are obvious examples of this working to the max. But if you aim to add story and personality, then commit 100%, or don’t bother at all.

62d ago
GoodGuy0962d ago (Edited 62d ago )

If you played both, botw was definitely the better imo. Horizen was only visually mindblowing otherwise the gameplay and story was mid. Horizon vastly follows the boring UBI open world formula, whereas botw made exploration and gameplay key for an open world game. Funny people are still talking about botw today and for many years to come when horizon was forgotten and barely talked about nowadays. Forbidden West within the candidates for GOTY isn't even being put up against Elden Ring and GOW and only a gap that needed to be filled. GG should go back to making KZ games.

But n4g is a pro-playstation site so many here will think otherwise lol. You either like one or the other depeding which side your on. Hit the disagree, go on I dare ya!

SenorFartCushion62d ago

There is a heat bar with which all articles are measured. The hottest are all PlayStation articles. Nintendo and Xbox barely get any heat. Even if this was a site with tonnes of users clicking PlayStation just to hate on it, they’re still making the site PlayStation-centric.

shinoff218362d ago (Edited 62d ago )


You say people still talking about botw but its literally what the purpose of the article is. WTF. Horizon is way better then your giving it credit for. Botw felt empty and it was just the cheap way out imo. I bet the next zelda isnt that empty cause they know they took the cheap way out. Botw was a good game but not even my favorite zelda. Horizon won goty because it was the best game that year period.

Far as this site, Id guess because it just has more sony fans here, xbox doesnt have the base that sony has. Nintendo does(im a fan except them cheap joycons) but most are younger and dont even go online to talk about games. Ive always bought nintendo secondary to ps, going back to ps1 and n64.

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IanTH63d ago

He added that staffers at Nintendo “got worked up over this catastrophic scenario.” Yang mentioned “there was mass panic” and that she “had never seen something that was from a high to a low like that before.”

.....they know it was just a game award, right? Like...the game sold and reviewed excellently, fans loved it, if it didn't win, it would have changed nothing. Why get worked up over what feels like a largely marketing focused awards event?

Dirty_Lemons63d ago

I agree 💯 but understand why being able to put "Game of the Year - Whoever" makes a game jump out more on the shelf and help sell it to a gamer who might just buy the odd title; love a fellow gamer-gamer, but I recognise most of our kind only play a few games through a year.

curtain_swoosh62d ago

maybe there was more than "just"getting the award. who knows really

IanTH63d ago

I also didn't remember M+R: Kingdom Battle won best strategy game that year as well. I really enjoyed M+R:KB, but up against XCOM 2:WotC & Warhammer II? I dunno, man...

ziggyzinfirion63d ago

It was Breath of the Wild who won the game of the year back in 2017. I remember Horizon Zero Dawn, Persona 5 and Mario Odyssey were nominated for the same category. To be honest, all of the nominated games were already winners in my book.

SenorFartCushion63d ago

Really shouldn’t have. Not only was the open world a terrible series of pathways to follow but the writing was somehow an even bigger crutch.

Inverno63d ago

At least it had writing, the few that Zelda had was all horribly voice acted. I had my issues with Horizon, and out of the two I played 150 hours more of Zelda, but Zelda was the most overrated game of that year.

H962d ago

Bear through all these downvotes my man, know you are not alone in this site

ProLogY63d ago

That was a really good year. But I think Zelda deserved it. To this day I still can’t believe Sony launched Horizon right next to Zelda.

It’s almost as crazy as launching the sequel at the same time as a game like Elden Ring. Just insane I can’t fathom what the thought process was. Give your smash hit game some space to breath.

generic-user-name63d ago

You know that as of last year, HZD sold 20m units? HFW was charting high in the UK charts too months after its release.

goldwyncq63d ago

They'll release Horizon 3 just in time for GTA 6

Imalwaysright63d ago (Edited 63d ago )

If you think that Horizon is better then why did you put far more hours on BoTW? 150 hours is almost 6 and a half days worth of playtime so I'm curious as to why you would put far more hours on what according to you is an inferior game. Was it because there was actual exploration in BoTW?

63d ago
Inverno63d ago

Yes there was actual exploration in BoTW compared to the more story centered locations of Horizon. I'm not saying it's inferior I'm just saying that over all it was not better. BoTW is still a Zelda game, but it's a Zelda game without most of what makes Zelda so damn good. If it was half of what all the previous entry were plus it's openness then I wouldn't think twice about whether or not it was the better game.

63d ago
EmperorDalek63d ago (Edited 63d ago )

Why? The first few hours were terrible, and the facial animations were as bad as that of Mass Effect Andromeda. Even at its best it was only good, not great.

It wasn't even the best PS4 exclusive of the year, Persona 5 was better.

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