The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been nothing short of a smash hit with critics and fans alike, who are still exploring everything and everywhere in the new world of Hyrule. What is next for the series juggernaut though?
It may be years away before production for the next Zelda even begins, but series producer Eiji Aonuma has hinted at what the future could hold. Interviewed in the June issue of Japanese magazine Nikkei Trendy (translated by Japanese Nintendo), he discussed his reactions to Breath of the Wild's reception outside of Japan along with his thoughts for the future of the Zelda series.
Firstly Mr Aonuma describes The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's decision to go 'Open Air':
When I first created a Zelda that’s played with 3D in Ocarina of Time, what we put our attention on is: To cope with how we were still not familiar with 3D yet, we show ‘routes’ so that you could progress forward without getting lost in even broad worlds.
At that time, I thought that was the right thing. However, as we stacked on the series, ‘not getting lost’ would produce feelings of blockages like ‘cannot do anything but that’ or ‘cannot run away’, so more and more people felt dissatisfied with that.
‘Open Air’ are words that really liberates us from those ‘feelings of blockages’. You can freely explore a vast world connected seamlessly, and you can progress to find out your own ‘answer’. So I think if there are 100 people ‘experiencing’ it, there will be 100 ways [to progress].
Before moving onto the topic of reactions overseas and what the future will hold for the series:
First of all I think the point that ‘this is a Zelda’ is big. It’s a series that has been continuing for a long time, if I am to put it in words then perhaps everyone would have thought it’s not that simple to do a ‘reform’.
Furthermore, that reform causes a ‘surprise’ to all our users who have played Zelda until now, since it exceeds their imaginations by a bit, and I think perhaps that’s why they, including the media, have welcomed it with the ‘zeal’.
It’s not an easy thing to be able to answer expectations of all our users, but through this game, I recognised again that the significance of continuing to create the series is right there, so in the future I’d like to repeat doing “great fusses*” and provide ‘surprises’ that exceed everyone’s expectations.
The interview will be interesting to revert back to once the next Zelda installment has been officially released. Please note that credit goes to Japanese Nintendo for translating the transcript.
What do you think the future will hold for the Legend of Zelda series?