It’s a bit of a “good news / bad news” type of day for Zelda fans, as Nintendo has officially confirmed the sequel to Breath of the Wild has been delayed into 2023. Although no 2022 release date was ever announced, the company had previously revealed it was targeting a 2022 release for the sequel to one of the most acclaimed games of all time. In a video posted to Twitter today, though, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma announced the delay.
Here’s what he had to say:
So the bad news is you’ll have to wait a few months longer than expected to get back to Hyrule. The good news is that Breath of the Wild 2 (or whatever the sequel is ultimately called) is still on path for a release and hasn’t been cancelled or vanished into the kind of development hell that so many games never escape from. (At least we can assume that last part—after this many years of development, if the entire game seemed in trouble of not coming out I doubt Nintendo would still be giving updates.)
Also, unless Nintendo makes a very unexpected announcement about new hardware, Breath of the Wild 2 is still on pace to break the recent tradition of mainline Zelda games arriving simultaneously as the last major game on one generation of Nintendo hardware and the first major game on the next generation of Nintendo hardware. In 2006 The Twilight Princess ushered in the Wii while closing the door on the GameCube, and the first Breath of the Wild came out on both the Wii U and the Switch five years ago this month. The sequel is still coming out on the same Switch hardware launched in 2017, and given Nintendo hasn’t announced a new console coming any time soon—and considering how the company said last year that the Switch was halfway through its life cycle—you shouldn’t have to worry about needing to buy a big new expensive system to play a better version of Breath of the Wild 2 when it lands next year.
Despite being in development for years, it’s entirely possible this isn’t the last delay for Breath of the Wild 2. Making games ain’t easy, especially ones as huge as Breath of the Wild. And since the sequel will no doubt try to one-up that modern classic, it’ll need as much time as it can get. Hopefully this is the last delay, though, and a year from now we’ll all be flying and horsing around in Hyrule again.