UPDATED AT THE BOTTOM!:
Stepping up to the plate today is Eurogamer’s Fred Dutton, perhaps best known for breaking the Earth shattering news that Dead or Alive: Dimensions made the Japanese sales charts, coughed up some extremely exciting news an hour ago. Fred Dutton revealed, through his sources of typing in a search on the ESRB website, the existence of a mysterious title known as ‘Zelda Universe’.
Holy shit! I immediately ran to Adium to tell Pro all about this incredible discovery. Pro was much more level headed and said it was just a website. I didn’t want to beleive him though and went back to my trusted Fred Dutton for clues to Zelda’s Universe
Given its title and that small collection of facts, an online Zelda MMO is the obvious guess, but that seems highly unlikely given Nintendo’s attitude to both online play and developing games for platforms other than its own.
Guarded speculation! He makes a bold claim but then quickly backs away saying it’s unlikely. Fred goes on:
Zelda Universe is the name of the franchise’s official website, but then the ESRB doesn’t rate web content. Some kind of game embedded in the site then? Again, that doesn’t really some like something Nintendo would do.
And then it all came flooding back to me. Ten years ago I played a game on the Zelda website.
Look there’s the little ESRB rating and everything! E: VIOLENCE! Everyone can be violent! Does anyone else remember this? This game? Here’s a reminder.
It was awful. You staggered around this little map and collected trinkets and it unlocked the official timeline of Zelda! Except the person who wrote that timeline had about as much knowledge and credibility as Fred Dutton. !!! Maybe that’s it! Maybe Fred Dutton wrote the script to Zelda Universe and wanted to remind everyone about it! You know, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Zelda Universe!
UPDATE: Holy shit. Every arsehole and his dog is running this story now.
ITWire - Who should really know better.
1UP - Who reported it as confirmation of a Mario Allstars style compilation.
Other sites who should be ashamed include CVG, Joystiq and G4. Another website I have never heard of said the sun would explode if Nintendo did not explain Zelda Universe. But my favourite was Gamespot where they updated the story to link to a post on their own forums ‘way back’ in 2008. Two thousand and eight? Remember those days? This goes back a LOT further than that Adam Morino or whatever your name is. If you’re a poster on one of these hilariously pathetic media sites, please spam their comment box with links to this article. It could be a struggle to be noticed past comments like this though.
It wasn’t all disgraceful from the collective gaming media though, Kotaku buckled the trend to report accurately for a change, although their source does appear to be the Gamespot forums claiming the ESRB date only goes back to 2008. This is fairly typical of Kotaku’s investigative methodologies.