The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great game and we could probably keep playing it forever, but as you may recall, it’s now been over five years since this last installment in the series was released (and following year March will mark six). Yes, we are talking about brand new ones adventures here – so that excludes remakes like Skyward Sword HD or spin-offs.
With this in mind, today marks the “longest gap ever” in “new” releases in The Legend of Zelda series history. The previous record was the time between the Game Boy classic Link’s Awakening (1993) and the N64 hit The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998). This fact was emphasized by the Twitter account ‘BombosMedaillon‘ – noting how it was about five years, five months and 15 days between these particular titles:
This new gap between releases is set to widen even further – with Nintendo’s announcement earlier this year, it would postpone The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 until Spring 2023. No exact date has been set yet, so this is subject to change. It’s also worth considering that the world has been turned upside down in recent years due to the pandemic, and development schedules at game companies around the world don’t always go to plan.
When the sequel was delayed in March earlier this year, series boss Eiji Aonuma said the team wanted this next experience to be “something special.” The sequel to BOTW was originally announced way back at E3 in 2019. And as games get bigger and better with new technology and bigger open worlds, the wait times for big budget titles like Zelda are likely to get longer.
Another Nintendo series that is in a long development cycle is Metroid Prime – scrapping development from the fourth entry and restarting it with Retro Studios in 2019. Other games like Grand Theft Auto V and even The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have spanned three console generations – and have now been ported to multiple platforms. So not only do games last longer, but in some cases they stick around a lot longer – with post-launch DLC and support.
How do you feel about waiting so long for a new Mainline Legend of Zelda game? Is five years between new releases too long for such a major Nintendo franchise as Zelda, or are you glad Nintendo is taking as much time as it takes? Let us know in the comments.