The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will not see release as a Nintendo Switch launch game, the scope of Link’s adventure resulting in localisation taking longer than expected.
That’s according to Emily Rogers, who reports that localisation will finish in late December and that the game will require “four-to-six months of testing” before it will arrive at retailers worldwide.
Despite media assumptions, Nintendo has never promised that Breath of the Wild would see release in March 2017. After the game’s blowout at E3 2016, their only tentative confirmation was that the game would launch in 2017.
“In early September, I heard rumblings that the localization for the game was becoming more work than anyone had anticipated,” Rogers writes in her blog post. “They have to localize all of the game’s text, NPCs, quests, etc. Then, around October, I received another update that Zelda’s localization was still not going as smoothly as planned. ‘A very ambitious game, maybe even too much’ claimed one particular source.
“That brings us to the month of November. More sources have now come forward and corroborated my information. They’ve told me that localization for Breath of the Wild might not be finished until the end of December. After localization is completed, this game will require between (at least) four-to-six months of testing. As I mentioned earlier, this is one of Nintendo’s largest and most ambitious games ever. The amount of testing required for a huge open-world game like this is enormous. Nintendo’s intention is to have the game as bug-free as possible.
“Based on what I’ve heard, I have no reason to believe that Breath of the Wild will be a March title. There’s a much higher chance of Breath of the Wild being a summer 2017 game.”
Rogers added that she has heard that Breath of the Wild is “running more smoothly” on Nintendo Switch in comparison to the Wii U version, and that the final game will be more challenging than the demo build that was playable at E3 2016.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will release exclusively on Nintendo Switch and Wii U in 2017.