Kirby fans have been feasting lately, between the critical and fan success of Kirby and the Forgotten Land, the silliness of Kirby’s Dream Buffet, Kirby’s Dream Land 2 arriving on Nintendo Switch Online earlier this year, and recent remake Kirby’s Return to Dream Land: Deluxe. It seems like there’s more Kirby than ever, both new and old. But does this mean fans of classic Kirby might see even more remakes and ports in the future alongside brand new Kirby games?
Speaking to IGN at the Game Developers Conference, Kirby director Shinya Kumazaki told us that while he couldn’t share any concrete plans for the future of Kirby, HAL Laboratory’s goal is always to “provide a new gameplay experience.” The developers won’t just remake Kirby games for the sake of it – only if there’s something new they can add. In Return to Dream Land Deluxe, that new experience is the Merry Magolor theme park with mini-games, as well as the extra Magolor Epilogue at the end of the game.
I also asked Kumazaki if we could expect a mix of 2D and 3D Kirby games going forward, existing side-by-side like Kirby and the Forgotten Land and Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe. Again, Kumazaki wasn’t giving anything away about the future, but did confirm that having 2D games, 3D games, or even “something completely different” are all “within scope” for HAL Laboratory’s future.
Then he offered what may have been a tiny, additional hint about his thoughts on the future:
“You might have experienced it if you played Forgotten Land, in that it’s not quite open world. It’s really a 3D game that really utilizes, kind of inherits the playfulness and the ease of play of 2D Kirby games. And that’s a unique 3D experience that we want to provide. And so what we want to do moving forward is continue to provide that unique 3D experience, and not necessarily be caught within the boundaries of existing genres.”
We also spoke to Kumazaki and Tatsuya Kamiyama about how Kirby and the Forgotten Land was a “Breath of the Wild moment” for the Kirby franchise, as well as whether or not the final boss of Forgotten Land was too challenging (or not challenging enough) for players given Kirby’s approachable nature.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.