Nintendo Switch

Ubisoft Reveals How Star Fox Ended Up In Starlink On Nintendo Switch

One of the surprising announcements at E3 2018 for Nintendo fans took place during Ubisoft’s conference on the Monday. The news that Star Fox’s Fox McCloud and his Arwing will be playable throughout the campaign of Starlink: Battle for Atlas on the Nintendo Switch was welcomed by many. Here’s how it all came about according to Ubisoft’s Laurent Malville.

Ubisoft: How did this partnership begin?

Laurent Malville: It actually all started at E3 last year. It was a really exciting time for us, we were so thrilled to show off the game and what we’re trying to do with Starlink. We just had one private room to demo the game, and a few representatives from Nintendo came by. It was a real show highlight to show them the game, and they seemed to really like it. Then Nintendo came back again, with a different group of people to play the game. I remember one of them asking me, “Is it OK if I come back with a group of higher executives?” and I just said, “Yes! Yes, absolutely.”

So they came a third and fourth time to check out the demo, to the point where we were finally showing it off to the President of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aimé. I’ll never forget when he grabbed the controller and said, “This is a neat concept you have here.” It felt like something was happening, but we weren’t exactly sure what.

Fast forward, and we were invited to go to Nintendo HQ in Japan to present the game to Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto and the entire original Star Fox team. We travelled to Japan and presented the game, and it was an unbelievable moment – it was incredibly humbling. Not only did we present the game, but we pitched what we thought we could do with a Star Fox integration in Starlink. We told them that Fox could be fully integrated into the game and have his own special abilities and his own skill tree, like any of the other pilots. We also pitched the Arwing as a modular ship, just like all the other Starlink ships. We had 3D printed the Arwing that we gave to Mr. Miyamoto, and when we gave it to him he immediately started playing with it, removing a wing and placing the wing of another ship on it. It was something that had never been done before with such an iconic ship, so we were a bit nervous about the reaction. But he told us that it was a great thing for players to be able to do

After the presentation and conversation, we returned to Toronto to await word from Nintendo on the partnership. Obviously, they thought it was a good fit, and once we received the greenlight, we started integrating Fox McCloud into Starlink: Battle for Atlas.

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33 comments

  1. This is my main problem with Nintendo First party in the past 15 years or so.

    Star Fox 64 was a amazing game but they never really continued the series or modernized it. I’m not talking about handheld or WII u versions cause those are still the same as the N64. When looking at games like Starlink, it shows Nintendo could have easily done more with the franchise, if they really wanted to continue the series and modernize it.

    Zelda Breath of the Wild, did atleast look at games like Skyrim and The Witcher for inspiration (altough it could have been done one game earlier if you ask me). Metroid Prime was also great but the last part got released in 2007 wich is way to long ago. Pokemon should be looking at games like Monster hunter World and various mmo’s, even breath of the wild/Skyrim/Witcher ect. And why can’t DK,Yoshi,Kirby be more than a 2d Side scroller wich is still the same as the 80’s and 90’s.

    Obviously there a way more franchises to talk about that aren’t utilized to its fullest potential by Nintendo. Not to mention fresh characters and franchises. Atleast in the 90’s franchises where popping up like toadstools , with Rare having a big part in that to be honest. Sometimes it feels like Nintendo is going on Auto Pilot to much these days. No big risks , nothing fresh just using the formula that works, wich is the easy way out if you ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No big risks? Nothing fresh? MaybI point you to Splatoon, Labo, and ARMS, some of the most fresh and risky properties to come out of Nintendo in a long time? And smaller titles like Snipperclips, Sushi Striker, Ever Oasis, etc., etc.?

      Also, Nintendo’s other titles may not feel the most modern, but that’s because they’re classic. Although I understand what you’re saying. It wouldn’t kill Nintendo to do something totally out of left field with their big names.

      However, I don’t want Nintendo to just copy/paste all these game formats and slap the name “Mario”, “Zelda”, or “Pokémon” on it! That’s a stupid idea, excuse my rudeness.

      Nintendo’s always said they’re trying to make people smile with their games. So far, they’ve accomplished that goal. They’re not gonna change that goal just to feel “modern”.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. @mh4

        Fair enough but Splatoon and Arms are far from Triple A titles in my opinion. Just looking at a few websites scores says it all really , even if you think scores are bullshit those games are nowhere near old franchises. Mario is modernized for asfar as its possible so is Zelda (my life time favorite franchise no matter what) but everyone I know that played Pokemon since day 1 and spend over 5000 hours on it wants a big open world online Pokemon ever since the existence of World of Warcraft. Say what you like about it but it will sell big and make loads of money for Nintendo + its the wet dream of allot of hardcore Pokemon players atleast according to my surroundings.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Just because a game doesn’t score well doesn’t make it bad. Just because a game isn’t AAA doesn’t make it bad. Literally, all it sounds like you’re asking for is a copy/paste of big name franchises with Nintendo characters. And that would suck the originality and Nintendo magic and wonder out of these franchises. These games sell in gangbusters simply because Nintendo refuses to follow industry trends with first party titles. By never following the beat of anyone’s drum but their own, Nintendo has crafted out a name for themselves. If Nintendo ever sells out and starts pursuing industry trends, I hope it’s after I die so I don’t have to watch the mighty crumble.

        Like

      3. I’ve never heard anyone who wasn’t trying to get on people’s nerves say that. I’ve heard people say that the don’t like them, but not that they’re flat out “s****y”.

        And why do you feel the need to attack “fanboys”? What difference does it make of a group of passionate fan likes a game or not? There’s always “fanboys” and “fangirls” for every franchise, no matter what it is. Even if those are the only people who like that franchise, which is highly improbable, that doesn’t make the franchise inherently bad.

        Tell me who “most people” are. That’s a broad claim that can be made for lots of things. Do you have research to prove it?

        Look, I’m sorry. I probably seem like what you would derogatorily call a “fanboy” right now. But calling something “s****y” just because you don’t like it is an uneducated comment.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Nintendroidblog: I am always surprised by the Xbot trolls here claiming to be Nintendo fans. The fact is, most of the people think that Splatoon is a decent franchise and critic reviews support this (Splatoon 2 has Metacritic score of 83). And please don’t tell me about the critics being biased for Nintendo, this is getting old. It seams like your target was to trigger some “fanboys”, so here I am. Not triggered, however, as I don’t take garbage like you seriously.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The thing is, more than just about any other company, Nintendo is penalized for trying something new and failing. Fans of a franchise will only accept so much of a change and it’s hard to preempt how much that will be. The games you’re talking about, the witcher, elder scrolls, etc. were already more modern than the majority of Nintendo’s franchises.

      The problem you have isn’t really a Nintendo problem, it’s an old franchise problem, and Nintendo just has so many of them. Nintendo has already reinvented more IPs than many studios have in the first place. It still sucks when we finally get Star Fox Zero and it’s not any different than 64, but it’s not all Nintendo’s fault.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It saddens me when people compare SF Zero with SF 64. The development efforts invested in making SF Zero is humongous. Yes it is the same shallow story but then again who plays SF for the story? Everything else has been built from scratch by Platinum Games and they really have put forward a solid effort as evident from the environments, flight control and mechanics and so on.

        Like

    3. [[ Warning. RANT Incomming ]]

      I’ll never understand why people say Starfox 64 was an “Amazing Game”.

      I absolutely Adore the Starfox Franchise … ‘Conceptually’. Nintendo abolutely Needs a Spaceflight Sci-Fi franchise to stretch its creativity into, and a Sci-Fi universe of Animals is just so Nintendo.

      I have Played every game in the franchise, and as a Superfan I can say with confidence, there has NEVER been a “Great” Starfox game. Starfox and Starfox2 (SNES) were super ambitious, and I liked what they were attempting, but the tech just wasn’t there to realize them well. Then SF64 came out. I was hyped. I walked to my local Blocbuster Video store as a Kid (teenager) and played it on the kiosk weeks/months before it came out. I beat it on my first try and was severely underwhelmed. It felt slow, the textures were mindless and ugly random tech patterns, and the gameplay just felt awkward. Auto loops and U-turns make for TERRIBLE dogfighting. Regular stages felt like flying a Sopwith Camel (Old By-Plane) rather than a Starfighter. Very Un-Exciting. I even played through a second time on an alternate path. Equally unimpressed. I assumed it must just be an early version, and the “Good” content must be locked behind hours of play I don’t have time to access in the store. Nope. Bought (asked for) game anyway based on hype and love of original and faith in Nintendo. Played through every path, hoping to find the “Good” parts. Never found them. I was heartbroken to have to say I wasn’t just disappointed with, but HATED SF64.

      SF64 was garbage textured, slow moving, boring at the easy parts and irritating at the hard, never-Fun “Mediocre” game at best, even compared to contemporary sci-fi games of it’s day. I don’t know what collective insanity came over the world that year, but SF64 got so much WRONG, and almost every failure of the franchise since can be traced back to immitating the speed, flow, mood (memes) and controls of that game.

      Also, spinning in place is called an “Aileron Roll”. A “Barrel Roll” is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT thing.

      “” Starfox 64 … horribly miguiding youths understanding of flight techniques and game designers understanding of Good starship gameplay since 1997. “”

      SF64 SUCKED. It Did. Your Nostalgia is Wrong. (My Favorite is the SNES Original, and I KNOW how flawed that game is. That kinda sucked too. They’ve ALL kinda Sucked. They’ve All fallen short). The Francise will NEVER become Good until it stops anchoring itself down to the mistakes it made back then and starts asking itself (BotW style),

      “What should a Starflight Based Sci-Fi shooter (Starring Family Friendly Animals) that pushes the boundaries of the Gameplay Genre ‘BE’ in 2019/2020/2021?”

      Like

      1. Note … though I never actually PLAYED SF2 in Rom form until the 2000’s, I WAS ‘Aware’ of it’s legendary, unreleased existance in the 90’s.
        (Before someone call’s BS on me)

        Like

      2. You would always beat the game in one sit trough but that wasn’t a problem. (pretty much every nes and snes game was beaten in one run)

        You had 3 routes indeed. Its definitly up there with Jet force Gemini , Mario Kart , Banjo , goldeneye , Perfect Dark , Mario 64 , Zelda Ocarina + majora’s mask even though thats pretty much the only thing that n64 had to offer. Don’t get me wrong I love the N64 and it has some of the best Nintendo games in history, but the ps1 library was way way bigger. The list of solid Rpg’s alone is enough to buy more games on your ps1 than the n64. It might be nostalgia but how many games really hold up in this day and age? The main thing what matters is how it felt back than.

        Like

      3. (Why am I able to reply to some comments, but not others?)

        You thought Jet Force Jemini was GOOD? I have mild fondness for it, and even completed it (a tremendous feat without a guide), but it wasn’t a great game. You just play what you have when you don’t have a job to buy more.

        The whole point of my Blockbuster story was that, pre-release, with the previous game being my favorite game at the time (proving I’m tollerant of flaws) and HYPE was at 100% Fever pitch … I thought it felt TERRIBLE to play in 1997. That was my POINT. It … was … not … Fun. I had more fun flying the, (almost identically contolled, now that I think about it) planes in DK Racing than I ever did playing SF64.

        Reflective water in the first stage, and the rumble pack were cool new tech … but who cares if you reach the end credits on any path and only feel irritated rather than satisfied. More “I’m glad that’s over” than “That was fun, let’s go again”.

        The voice acted cast was only memorable because the dialog was “All your Base” meme worthy in its terribleness.

        It was bad in 1997. What drug did Nintendo give everyone else back then that makes them remember otherwise???

        I hated it then. It’s not any better now.

        I … Just … Don’t … Get It …

        AAAAAARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!

        Like

    4. Granted, change is good but not always. You do not want to introduce a radical change that alters the fundamentals of the game into a totally new game. For example, the battle system in pokemon has been evolving over the years with the Physical / Special moves split, Mega Evolution, Z moves and so on. These are nice new elements that actually add value to the overall experience without breaking the true experience of the game. Whereas taking a huge risk has a bigger chance at failing and causing an uproar within the fanbase. That is why we have spin-offs to the main core games where developers can experiment (FE and Hyrule Warriors, pkmn mystery dungeon and so on).

      I really do not see them as going Auto-pilot, if you see the installments of the games you mention, they always improve them however slightly (sometimes they make them easier which disappoints some fans but Nintendo’s argument to this is that they want to attract newwer more casual players).

      Like

    1. No, in Dino World, it was Miyamoto who suggested the Star Fox change (big mistake that it was). In Starlink it was them suggesting that they could add Star Fox to their own game (hopefully a great idea).

      Liked by 4 people

  2. When I first saw this game last year, I wasn’t all that interested. I figured “oh cool, skylanders with ships, but not really for me.” Then I became a bit more interested when we saw the Ubisoft conference, and Fox showed up. I thought I’d pick it up, let my son play around with the ships and leave it at that. Then today, I decided to go and watch the treehouse coverage of the game.. Needless to say, I was blown away by how open it was, the seamless transition from space to planet, the day/night visuals of the planet, and the combat felt fresh, yet familiar, and very much Star Fox inspired. The RPG elements are also a great touch. I pre-ordered it right away, and not only will my son enjoy it, I’ll definitely be playing it myself.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I was gonna buy the game when they first showed it off. But this Star Fox stuff just took it over the top for me. This has to be leading to them making a new Star Fox game. It would be criminal if this doesn’t happen.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I was also in the fence about buying this game but then Fox McCloud had to be in the game which solidified my decision to preorder the Starter kit.

      Liked by 3 people

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