Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets seems pretty sure that a new Zelda game is coming in 2009, listing it as one of 22 games that could drive a 5 percent growth in game sales in the next year.
In a note to investors, Sebastian listed a group of games that he saw as potentially spurring sales growth in 2009. He included the usual suspects on the list, like StarCraft II and Resident Evil 5, but also made mention of a to-be-announced Legend of Zelda game as well as a new title starring Princess Peach. The note cited Sebastian's own personal research and company reports as leading him to conclude that a new Zelda was imminent, though he admitted that there was no genuine factual basis for the Zelda claim. He didn't, however, back off on the Princess Peach game. The last Peach game was on the DS and not really that big a deal. If this one warrants inclusion on a "sales boosters of 09" list, could it be a full-fledged Wii game for Peach?
Sebastian's in good company: Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities made a similar guess earlier this year, and the stars do seem to be aligning for a new Zelda, whether it's coming in the next five years or not. Nintendo confirmed some time ago that new Zelda and Mario games are in development, but have been coy about when they'll come out. Since Twilight Princess wasn't really a Wii title or a GameCube title, there has yet to be a real Zelda on Nintendo's highly lucrative Wii, leading many to believe that a new Zelda, built from the ground-up for Nintendo's number one money maker, is on the way.
Sebastian also made mention of another of the game industry's biggest franchises: Grand Theft Auto. Unlike Zelda, however, GTA won't be seeing any new iterations in the coming year, according to Sebastian. ""Looking ahead to 2009, we expect mid-single-digit growth in software sales on a tough growth comparison and potentially fewer hit titles (e.g., no GTA V until 2010)," Sebastian wrote.