It had to happen and it happened. Last Tuesday Nintendo announced the delay of the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild until spring 2023. This is one of the most anticipated games of recent years, partly because Zelda always is, partly because breath of the wild It is considered by many to be the best video game in history. Reasons are not lacking.
The fact is that being one of the most anticipated games “of recent years” in this case is more literal than expected: it is not the first time that the game, announced in 2019, has been delayed, and considering that the original (which sold about 24 million copies) came out in the already distant 2017, the announcement has upset the millions of followers of the saga around the world.
With the movies it is something infrequent, and that we have just seen a symptomatic case with the latest movie from the Marvel factory: Morbius. The vampire film starring Jared Leto was going to come out during the early stages of the pandemic, but to the problems created by the covid itself, it added the fact that the protagonist’s powers were directly taken from bats, and the animals causing the Wuhan crisis were not exactly a box office claim. But vampires aside, the truth is that in the cinema it is rarer to see how the release date is changed (or canceled) of a film when it is already set. However, in video games this is our daily bread.
There are works that languish for years without being officially canceled (Beyond Good and Evil 2), games that generate great expectation —in jargon, hype— and then canceled overnight (scalebound, Fes II, silent hills) or games that are postponed for years and years, such as Final Fantasy XV (it came out in 2016 after 10 years of development), Devil III (it came out in 2012 after 11 years) or Duke Nukem Forever (which appeared in 2011 after 15 years). Another example of infinite development (9 years) is The Last Guardianby the legendary Fumito Ueda, which was announced for Play Station 3 and finally came out for Play Station 4 in 2016. Because that’s another: the prestige accumulated by Ueda in Play Station 2 with his essential Shadow of the Colossus (2005) surely helped to sell many units of that console for which it finally did not come out. There are many examples like this and some miscreant could believe that the large multinationals (listed on the stock exchange) that are behind these great launches fan the flame of illusion (and sales) following a strategy similar to that of certain sports press with soccer : Dozens of rumors and transfer announcements that often do not come to fruition. Ultimately, the wheel must keep turning.
Princess Zelda, in another of the images shown from the long-awaited sequel.
In the end, it is clear that we will appreciate the delay. The game will come out better, more polished, more solid. The development of software it is unpredictable and sometimes problems arise that are very difficult to solve. The production of video games, moreover, is not as concrete (or as glamorous) as in the cinema: it is a much less traveled, oiled and refined field. But this delay is especially annoying for coming from the company that was able to do it in just over a year The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000) after the highly acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998). Same saga and same scenario: a direct sequel and for the same console, with the same graphics engine and reusing characters. In this context, five (now six) years seems too long, especially when the sequel has been announced for four years. Four years of illusions fueled by videos and trailers conveniently spread over time.
Is it possible that Nintendo wants to make sure it is the best game of 2023 and not compete this year with Elden Ring? Has the game really given problems that they want to solve, or is it so ambitious that it requires that extra time? Perhaps Nintendo plans to announce the Switch 2 and prefers to accompany that launch with a game of stem like the new Zelda? It is not known. In the end, people know nothing. Well, yes, they know something: that one of the most anticipated games of 2022 will have to be played in 2023. If not later…
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