The Internet continues to mourn the death of its surrogate comedy dad, Robin Williams, with a petition asking Nintendo to name a character in an upcoming Zelda game after the beloved actor reaching more than 100,000 signatures within a week of Williams’ death. The actor and comedian was an enthusiastic gamer and fan of the Zelda title, going so far as to name his first daughter after it, and appearing in an ad with her for the company’s recent re-release of Ocarina Of Time. Nintendo Of America, who is responsible for releasing and localizing the company’s games for Western audiences, released a response to the petition this week, speaking of its love and respect for the actor, as well as how it’s probably not going to do that thing those people want it to do:
“Robin Williams was loved at Nintendo. Our hearts go out to his entire family, and especially to Zelda Williams who we’ve worked with multiple times.
We appreciate the outpouring of support from the gaming community, and hear the request of fans to honor him in a future game. We will not be discussing what might be possible for future games during this difficult time, but we will hold our memories of Robin close.”
The company’s cautious reply stands in contrast to the response by Blizzard Entertainment, which quickly agreed to a similar petition asking it to include a Williams tribute character to the massively popular online role-playing game World Of Warcraft, of which the actor was also an avid fan.
To be fair to Nintendo, it hasn’t said it won’t name a character after Williams. And while Blizzard can add a character to its existing game with a simple patch release, Zelda games take years of development, with any proposed change requiring careful consultation with the home company in Japan. To be unfair to Nintendo, though, it’s also clearly made up of all those stereotypical stuffed-shirts from the movies, the ones who were always telling Williams not to stand on desks or yell on the radio or be Patch Adams.