The Future of The Legend of Zelda
Nintendo will eventually make another hardware platform. And there will eventually be another Zelda game for it. Neither are 100% confirmed, of course, but both are some of the safest bets anyone could make. Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma has now discussed, at a high level, what Nintendo’s designers think about when tackling new hardware.
Speaking to Polygon, Aonuma–who has worked on the Zelda series for decades and has been part of the team during multiple console transitions–laid out some of the areas that Nintendo focuses on.
Embracing the New
He said Nintendo’s designers think about things like, “‘What can we do that’s new? ‘What will we be able to do?’ ‘What kind of new themes will we be able to explore?'”
“And so I think, rather than focusing on the past, when we’ve changed from one console to another, it’s more than a feeling of saying goodbye. It’s a feeling of excitement. It’s about what will be the new things that we’ll be able to do,” he said.
Also in the interview, Aonuma said he thinks it’s a “miracle of sorts” that the Zelda series has remained ongoing and successful after so many years. “That’s not something that I credit myself with, but instead with being surrounded by a team of really talented people. Getting to work with them and discussing our ideas about the game is something that has been responsible for the continuance of the series,” he said.
Aonuma didn’t discuss any specifics about whatever Zelda game might be coming next, but he remarked, “I’m excited about the changes that we’ll be able to accomplish together.”
Before this, Aonuma hinted that the future of the mainline Zelda series does not involve traditional linear Zelda adventures of old coming back any time soon.
“It’s interesting when I hear people say [they prefer the older games] because I am wondering, ‘Why do you want to go back to a type of game where you’re more limited or more restricted in the types of things or ways you can play?'” Aonuma said in the interview. “I do understand that desire that we have for nostalgia, and so I can also understand it from that aspect.”
The latest entry in the main series, Tears of the Kingdom, has sold more than 19.5 million copies worldwide. Its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, shifted more than 31 million copies. Both were also adored critically, with Tears of the Kingdom heralded by GameSpot as one of the best Switch exclusives of 2023.
Nintendo has reportedly already sent “development kits” for the Switch 2 to some developers so they can begin building games with it, and the console is reportedly set to launch to the public in 2024. Officially, however, Nintendo is not confirming the existence of any new hardware, except for stating that a new console will release by the year 2100.
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