The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Image: Nintendo

Games are only getting bigger, and if you're wondering what Nintendo's take is on lengthy development cycles, the company president thinks it's "unavoidable". During the recent shareholder Q&A, Shuntaro Furukawa mentioned how game development today is "more prolonged, more complex, and more advanced", and to deal with this Nintendo must continually expand its "development resources" and make "necessary investments".

Nintendo's Senior Managing Executive Officer and Corporate Director Shinya Takahashi reiterated how it was "inevitable" for software development cycles to increase as hardware advances, but at the same time thinks Nintendo is "succeeding" in its efforts to shorten overall development cycles by "steadily improving the development environment".

This same question touched on how Super Mario Bros. Wonder was the "first new 2D Mario game in 11 years" and although it's been this long between releases, according to Takahashi "it is not as if Super Mario Bros. Wonder was under continuous development for nearly a decade". The "long gap" between these releases was because of various initiatives and studies - "with the goal of encouraging as many people as possible to enjoy them".

Nintendo longer development cycles this generation have included games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and the upcoming release Metroid Prime 4: Beyond, which restarted development in 2019. This follows a comment Furukawa made about Generative AI, mentioning how Nintendo is always "open to utilizing technological developments" but would continue delivering value that "cannot be created by technology alone".

How do you feel about longer development cycles for certain Nintendo games? Let us know in the comments.