Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Delayed?

While Nintendo promised that the release of its new console, the Nintendo Switch, would be supported by a raft of new games, strong rumours suggest that its most anticipated title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, has been delayed. A triumvirate of news reporters – Nintendo insiders Emily Rodgers and Laura Kate Dale, plus Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips – have all independently corroborated the news that Breath of the Wild will not be out in time for the Nintendo Switch’s launch, and could be delayed by “several months,” but have confirmed that Nintendo still intends to release the game on the recently-defunct Wii U.

Rodgers reports on her blog, ArcadeGirl64:

“[A]round 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.”

Dale the corroborated Rodgers’ source, writing on Let’s Play Video Games:

“Following recent reports that Zelda: Breath of the Wild would miss the Switch’s March launch, we have not only heard the same information independently, but also that the Wii U version is not going to hit the previously expected launch date either. We have heard that, even though the game will not launch until several months into the Switch’s lifespan, Nintendo still plans to release a Wii U version of the game.”

Phillips then revealed that Eurogamer has heard the same news from their own source, again blaming the game’s ambition for the delay:

“Eurogamer had separately been told of the same schedule, as Nintendo is committed to launching the game in as close to perfect a state as possible after so long in development.

To put it lightly, this is no small feat. Breath of the Wild is a huge open-world game which leans heavily on sandbox systems.

Nintendo’s latest official estimate for Breath of the Wild is simply “2017”. This was not updated when the Nintendo Switch was fully unveiled last month.”

While many would happily wait for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to ensure that the game is ready, the delay is a worry for Nintendo since a dearth of high-profile games upon the release of the Wii U was blamed for its poor initial sales.

Ashley Allen

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