The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of 2017's video game highlights, giving millions of players hours upon hours of top-quality adventuring in a new-look version of Hyrule.
It would seem that Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma had almost as much enjoyment making the game as we have had playing it, as he's recently said that BotW is "maybe the most fun I've ever had making a game".
Speaking to Game Informer, the Zelda boss said:
You know, I’ve been making Zelda titles for almost my entire career, and the memories start to pile up. I start to forget things, but I think one thing I’ve always been proud of is the fact that Zelda games have always been about new surprises and thinking about different things to try, yet still maintain that Zeldaness, or whatever it is.
To touch on Breath of the Wild, it was really fun to develop – maybe the most fun I’ve ever had making a game. It was because of the staff. They took so much initiative, and were always looking at everything in the game with this eye to improve. They took so much initiative. I could see it every day. As a producer, it gave me a lot of courage, and made me realize “Okay, this could actually work.”
The people who made this game didn’t have troubled faces. They were smiling the whole time they worked on it. At the start of development, with all of the new things we were doing, I definitely was worried – I had a worried face. As a I saw the staff put it together, that concern started to go away. We were doing challenging new things, but we always did them with a smile. I don’t think I’ve experienced that before. The development experience was so great, and the game that came out of it was great. That’s something I’m really proud of.
On top of that, in the [new downloadable content], we got the motorbike I wanted in. That’s what I really want to leave you with. [laughs]
We should be thankful for those smiling faces on the Breath of the Wild team, because they all contributed to what will no doubt be long regarded as one of the best Nintendo titles of all time.