The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2–Sorry, sorry. The Sequel to The Legend of–Actually, you know what? Screw it. We all know this is a sequel, and the awkward dance around its name is just cloying at this point. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 started trending on social media last night, following the four-hour advertisement known as The Game Awards, in part due to the fact that it still doesn’t have a name.
Fans have been waiting years for proper news about a sequel to 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, following the 2019 reveal that Nintendo would make a sequel to the zeitgeist-busting adventure game. At E3 2021, Nintendo showed off a first trailer for the game, officially promoted, for the time being, as Sequel to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — a creative decision Nintendo justified because the real name might “give little bits of hints about maybe what’s going to happen.”
Going into The Game Awards, fans expected, if not a release date, at least a full reveal of the game’s official name. This was not unreasonable. After all, The Game Awards is the last big gaming showcase of the year, and BotW 2 is due out some time in 2022 (pending delays).
Instead, Nintendo showed off…several seconds of the game in a brief sizzle reel, replete with a styled logo, reading “The Sequel to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” in a Zelda-style font, in the lower-right corner:
Yes, The Game Awards is ostensibly about “celebrating gaming” by doling out accolades across more than two dozen awards categories. But every year, most of the show is dedicated to “world premieres” and “world exclusives,” brief segments meant to drum up hype for video games that aren’t out yet (a.k.a., advertisements). Those are peppered with actual ad spots. Near the near end of the show, Nintendo aired one dedicated to its 2022 slate, showing off 10-second peeks at games like Kirby and the Forgotten Land and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. That’s the only moment of the night BotW 2 showed up.
— ???? Li Kovács ???? Hyrule ???? (@LiKovacs) December 9, 2021
In particular, clown memes were a hit, likely meant to poke fun at fans for getting their hopes up (but also as a way of showing that, no, you’re not disappointed, you weren’t expecting much in the first place so you can’t be let down, ha ha, aren’t we all having fun?). Posts drawing comparison between BotW 2 and Sonic Frontiers, the just-announced open-world Sonic game, were popular. Some fans thought the total absence of any concrete details was “funny.” Others lamented how the brief glimpse of BotW 2 “WAS A FUCKING AD WITH THE SAME TRAILER AND NO NAME.”
But perhaps the response is immortalised in the results from last night’s terminally ridiculous Most Anticipated Game category. For the second year running, Elden Ring, the open-world jaunt from FromSoftware due out in February, took the top spot, beating out games like God of War Ragnarök, Starfield, and, yes, BotW 2.
“A lot of people are pumped for Elden Ring,” one person wrote. “BotW 2 doesn’t even have a name to be excited about yet.”