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Why Is the ‘Breath of the Wild’ Sequel Taking So Long?

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Recently, Nintendo announced that it was pushing the game’s release window back from a nebulous “sometime in 2022” release to a narrower, less aspirational “Spring 2023.”

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Development Process and Game Engine

It took Nintendo six years to create Breath of the Wild’s engine from scratch. The sequel to Breath of the Wild will presumably reuse many assets from the first title, including its overworld map, enemy types, and NPC animations. What could possibly be taking this long?

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When Did Development Start?

In the 2018 art book The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion, developers confirmed they began working on a follow-up to Breath of the Wild immediately after shipping the game for Wii U and Switch in March 2017. Why has a seemingly straightforward sequel dragged into its sixth year of development?

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Work-From-Home Issues in Japan

There’s no getting around the fact that the past two years have been tough for game developers. Many Japanese developers didn’t own a home PC in March 2020, and some didn’t have access to high-speed internet to allow them to work on large, complex projects.

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Stacked Holiday Season in 2022

Nintendo fans won’t be left in the cold by this delay, though. The 2022 holiday season is already absolutely stacked with games. Nintendo has confirmed that two new mainline Pokemon games, Scarlet and Violet, will hit the console near the end of the year.

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