Man, what a crazy few days. Thank you all again for your support and for sharing this to so many. Today, Nintendo issued a statement about the petition to Polygon. I will reproduce it here:
“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.”
It’s a lovely sentiment. I noted in my last update that Nintendo making a statement was in my mind a wonderful outcome, and I still believe that. Nintendo has acknowledged the impact that Robin Williams had on the gaming world and on their community. They have also not ruled out the possibility of naming a character in tribute, so we’ll see what happens. It may come to pass, it may not. That’s okay.
Change.org rather enthusiastically asks you to “Declare Victory” to end a campaign. To me, that mischaracterises this petition. It wasn’t about forcing Nintendo into acquiescing to fan demands. I certainly never would have guessed it would reach a scale at which the weight of responses – of you and your signature – could have anything approaching that influence.
This petition was born of a sense of loss, and a desire, as the news coverage turned away from celebration of Robin’s life and into the deeply personal circumstances of his death, to focus again on something positive. To show another way he left an impression, another way his energy and passion impacted a group of people. It was comforting to imagine a manner in which he could still be part of our lives, could still delight us, and which would have hopefully delighted him. I – we – asked Nintendo to consider localising a character as Robin during the translation of the new Zelda game. They responded: they will. They’ve heard the request. They will consider it.
Thank you all again for the support. I’ve received many warm sentiments from many people these past few days. I still can’t quite process that when I hit send on this message, it will go out to 90,000+ people. I will end with the suggestion I ended with last time. While we don’t yet know if the world of Hyrule will see a tribute to Robin, you can make sure our world does by donating a few rupees to one of the many charities he supported, including St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, UNICEF, and Amnesty International: https://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/robin-williams
My thoughts are with the Williams family. I hope if and when they reemerge from this period of mourning, they are welcomed with love, support and respect. Take care, everyone.
Now, Nintendo doesn’t exactly promise a tribute, but there’s sure to be some tribute in the works. It sounds like NIntendo just hasn’t figured out how and where that tribute will occur and don’t want to put out anything specific until those questions are locked down in-house. It wouldn’t surprise me if Nintendo wanted to consult with Zelda Willams about a tribute, they specifically mention her in the statement, and want to give her time to grieve before approaching her.