The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Producer Suggests Open World is the Series Standard Now

Nintendo boldly embraced new game design and mechanics in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Now, we’ve learned that one of the biggest changes made in the game is probably going to stay.

In an interview with Famitsu, series producer Eiji Aonuma suggested that Zelda games will continue the open-world focus moving forward. Aonuma said that in the future, “open-air” games will be the standard for Zelda.

In case you missed it, you can find our thorough video and written review for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild here.

How do you guys feel about the series whole-heartedly jumping on the open-world train? Sound off in the comments below!



Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.

  1. Valwin Mediaz
    Valwin Mediaz
    April 5, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    could be bad if it means more barebones or the same damn map every time i mean this not elder scrolls

  2. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    April 5, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Makes sense, most people have reacted very positively to the change, and it seems to be selling well. I’d be surprised if he said he’ll go back to the Ocarina formula. I do wonder what the handheld Zelda team will do now though.

  3. Chocolate ISISCream
    Chocolate ISISCream
    April 5, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I’m all for it tbh. It just needs better music and voice acting, or give us dual audio but that will never happen. I really like how you’re able to just not give a fuck about anything after exiting the great plateau. You can either do the divine beasts, do shrines, try to get the master sword or simply just strut into Hyrule Castle to fight Calamity.

  4. Nanya
    April 5, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    I’m for it, just hope that they continue to further the lore and writing for the series at least.

  5. Personaknight
    April 5, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Atleast it does open world well. Though I hope portable Zelda doesn’t go away since that is one way you can still appeal to people who are not interested in open world.

    Atleast that’s what I felt what portables were for back then on Gameboy with providing smaller/different game experiences than on console. Then everything became a smart device and had to push the envelope. I blame 3ds for having as Nintendo’s flagship for games since the wiiu sunk.

  6. GameZard
    April 5, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    You had enough kid.

  7. DrearierSpider
    April 5, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Haven’t played BotW yet, but this could be good or bad. I like a lot of what I’ve seen, but I hope they bring back traditional dungeons, get rid of annoying micromanagement aspects like weapons breaking, tone down the constant hunt for collectibles, etc. The series really took off in popularity because every game from ALttP had a tight, focused design and they seem like they lost some of that in BotW. IMO, an open world should be there only to harcon back to the original NES game, where you had a real sense of exploring the unknown and you could do things out of order.

  8. GameZard
    April 5, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    open air? Link don’t fly in this game.

  9. Personaknight
    April 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Giant red cartoon bird dlc confirmed I guess.

  10. Chocolate ISISCream
    Chocolate ISISCream
    April 5, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Fuck off PCuck.

  11. GameZard
    April 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    I haven’t seen someone give Nintendo a blowjob like that since OriginalBloodAce. He’s in prison now. lol

  12. Bitterbear
    April 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    So.. Elder Scrolls: The Weaboo Age.

  13. No_Good_Names_Ever
    April 5, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    If they can make it feel like a world instead of a big open space while giving a good story and fun gmaeplay, I’d say go for it but this is Nintendo and they can’t even do turn based RPGs right.

  14. Loli de 42 Anos
    Loli de 42 Anos
    April 5, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    “now”? it’s always been. they just expanded it to upteenth degree here.

  15. TheOnceAndFutureKing
    April 5, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Smart choice, they should have went with this in the Gamecube era when open world games like GTA 3 were taking off.

    I hope they ditch the stupid timeline lore bs as well, Skyward Sword was very emblematic of why its cancerous.

  16. Guest
    April 5, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Perfectly fine with that. Hopefully they just pull things back a little bit and give us real dungeons and more story next time. Less shrines and koroks, more unique things to discover.

  17. Michael Richardson
    Michael Richardson
    April 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I’d be cool with a smaller overworld and more of a focus on big, complex dungeons in the next entry. Maybe integrate the sort of physics-based puzzles seen in BotW’s shrines into the dungeons proper, instead of moving blocks and shooting eyeballs on the wall. I’d also like a more traditional Zelda score this time around. The minimalist music was OK for BotW, but it shoudn’t become standard for the series.

    Nice to hear the “open-air” focus isn’t going anywhere, though. It’s about time the series stopped trying to emulate Ocarina of Time.

  18. Tubsiwub
    April 5, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    BotW was brilliant and it felt awesome to explore in a Zelda-themed world. Truly awesome, but I fear that if they continue with this approach, we’ll not get new games for years at a time.

  19. Rumble Red
    Rumble Red
    April 5, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    I started with the 2D Zeldas on Game Boy, and that’s my preferred style. It can still work, too; ALBW was my favourite Zelda in years even though I was never that crazy about ALttP. I was hoping we’d get kind of a 2D revival out of that; I’d hate to see it be the last of its kind.

    I haven’t actually played BotW yet, so I can’t really comment on that. I’d like to see them keep experimenting with smaller projects, though, if only so it’s not a million years between games.

  20. Farwin
    April 5, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    You mean Zelda is returning to the old standard of open-world. Heck, Zelda’s the reason open-world games exist at all.

    Eiji Aonuma is the cancerous tumor that decided it was otherwise to begin with.

  21. Arenegeth
    April 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Wasn’t it always?

    The only reason Zelda games weren’t truly open world the way we know that term today, was technical limitations.

  22. 2501
    April 5, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Does this mean that they have to keep hiring Monolith Soft to do it?

  23. RichardGristle
    April 5, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Yeah the term is really just the new meme. Before it was “sandbox”.

    I’m pretty sure even LoZ was “open world” as far as what the NES could provide.

  24. InkViper
    April 5, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Nintendo owns 98% of Monolith soft! they don’t have to hire them, they just put in a requisition order for staff when they’re in between or in project downtime.

  25. tccboss
    April 6, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Rip Michael Jordan because it looks like Nintendo is a bunch of stupid virgin nostalgia-fags.

  26. Zanard Bell
    Zanard Bell
    April 6, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Took them long enough. Pretty sure a Nintendo executive, fresh out of his fifteen-year coma, saw Skyrim and said “I want a piece of that pie.”

  27. Malcolm_Ecks
    April 6, 2017 at 10:03 am

    I wouldn’t even say technical limitations were the main cause for the resistance. The Wii had 2 of the smaller Mario games and a couple of Zelda games less open than Ocarina of Time, but Xenoblade Chronicles came out.

    I for the life of me do now know why Nintendo hasn’t a Metroid game where you travel the world like you would in Wind Waker, but in space. Nintendo’s had the resources and the IPs to bring true innovation to the table, but opts for peripheral fads and relying on old formulas instead.

  28. Malcolm_Ecks
    April 6, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Methinks be “open world” they mean non linear. So, RIP game design and RIP cohesive stories for the next few Zelda games.

  29. Himegami Aisa
    Himegami Aisa
    April 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    The game design’s fine, it just doesn’t hold your hand and stop you from going to places that might be too hard for you if you’re not a competent enough player. Amazing that that complaint came from here and not Polygon.

  30. Malcolm_Ecks
    April 6, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Its not the lack of “hand holding” that’s the problem. Its the lack of direction. Other than exploring something for the sake of exploring, there’s draw to do anything other than the sake of faffing about.

  31. UnpluggedBeta
    April 8, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Good, now make some decent dungeons next time; christ the game had zero real dungeons and it hurts for it.

  32. UnpluggedBeta
    April 8, 2017 at 2:22 am

    The problem to a metroid game is this: who develops it? Whatever internal teams guard the various ips, do they reshuffle them to work on other ips or is it always the same guy?

    In metroid’s case, the last real metroid game was developed by a team which isn’t even around anymore and the last good metroid game was great, but undeniably “American” and it lost something in that translation to 3d that Zelda didn’t possibly as a result.

  33. UnpluggedBeta
    April 8, 2017 at 2:23 am

    The only thing I care about are real dungeons. The combat system practically screams for room-based encounters where you can’t cheese the fights by using the terrain to make monsters forget about you.

  34. SOMEGUY7893 .
    SOMEGUY7893 .
    April 15, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    I’m sorry that people enjoying themselves upsets you.

  35. SOMEGUY7893 .
    SOMEGUY7893 .
    April 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    They also didn’t really bring that many of them to help work on it anyway.

  36. GameZard
    April 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Not really. Just calling out ISIS’s hypocrisy. :)