It hadn’t really come as a surprise when Nintendo announced that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had been delayed, nor in that it will now simultaneously launch on Wii U and Nintendo NX.
Now, executive producer Shigeru Miyamoto and series producer Eiji Aonuma have shared the reasons behind their decision, and how it has affected the game’s continuing development.
“It’s complicated because as we’re developing this – obviously development of NX started a while ago – and unfortunately, I’m sorry, but the development of this game took a lot longer than expected,” Miyamoto explained to IGN. “We really felt like we would be able to get it done last year, but there was a lot of struggle with using the physics engine, so that’s why it took a long time.”
He continued, “Also, when we thought about developing a Zelda game for the NX, it would have to be way further down the life cycle of the system. And this game, rather than really focusing on the unique features of the Wii U, it’s really a game you sit down and get into. There was a change in direction, so we decided to develop for both consoles a while ago.”
The fact that the situation is similar to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which came to GameCube and Wii, isn’t lost on Eiji Aonuma.
“From the beginning we were thinking of releasing this title on both platforms,” Aonuma revealed. “With Twilight Princess, I was looking at, this [then-new] platform called Wii and I had more of an outsider objective view of, ‘Oh this is coming out.’ But for this one I was slightly more involved with NX and just judging on the timing of development. When we were going to finish this, we thought it might be fun to have that available for NX as well. I don’t see it as something too unfortunate. I think it’s nice to have a single title that can be played on two different platforms.”
He added, “I should preface, I probably shouldn’t say that because the staff working on this game. It’s probably a lot of extra work for them so maybe they’ll get mad. To them it might be an unfortunate circumstance.”
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will release for Wii U and Nintendo NX in 2017.