Could Ecco the Dolphin be Revived on Nintendo Switch?

by Kyle Hanson

The Nintendo Switch just came out, but it’s looking like a fairly solid sales success. On top of this, we’ve seen unprecedented indie game support coming from Nintendo. Indie games are being announced for the new console left and right, and developers have commented on how well they’ve been treated by the Big N. With that in mind it was interesting to see a recent tweet by Ecco the Dolphin creator Ed Annunziata, putting him outside of Nintendo headquarters. Could a true revival be around the corner?

This wouldn’t be the first time Ecco the Dolphin has been ready for a revival. Sega themselves tried it on the Dreamcast in 2000. Since then things have been pretty quiet, though Annunziata looked ready to get back into the game with a Kickstarter in 2013.

At the time Annunziata did not own the rights to Ecco the Dolphin, which had defaulted to Sega following his development studio’s bankruptcy. So he instead decided to do a spiritual successor called The Big Blue. With a goal of over $600,000, the game only reached $55,000 before it was ended and the dream seemed over.

Ed Annunziata wasn’t done though. Instead of giving up he filed a lawsuit against Sega trying to get the rights to Ecco the Dolphin back. This lawsuit ended in an undisclosed settlement. So, at this time it’s not clear who exactly owns the rights to the series, which began life in 1992 on the Sega Mega Drive. If Annunziata got the rights back then his meeting with Nintendo could be the beginning of a true revival for the classic series. If not then maybe he’s looking for a home for a different spiritual successor, or something totally new.

The tweet was cryptic enough that anything is possible, but what we know right now is that the creative force behind Ecco the Dolphin and other classic games is possibly working with Nintendo on something.

- This article was updated on March 8th, 2018