The Next Zelda Game May be a Sequel, Feature HD Rumble, & is Still a Long Ways Off

So what’s next after Breath of the Wild wraps up it’s second DLC pack later this year?  We actually speculated on this in and episode of Zelda Inquiries, but Eiji Aonuma let slip a few details in a recent interview with GAMEREACTOR. Keep in mind, the next Zelda game hasn’t really even entered the planning stages yet due to the DLC, so everything is subject to change. That being said, here is what we learned:

GAMEREACTOR: This game was developed for the Wii U, and you recently said you regret not being able to use the Switch specific features. What features were you thinking about in particular?

Eiji Aonuma: To give a concrete example, there are what are called ‘HD vibrations’ which are specific to the Switch and which allow you to almost experiment what the character feels when it touches something, for example when you take an object in hand you can feel it thanks to the vibrations. It is a rather interesting approach, it adds more realism too, simply it would have been necessary to develop scenes around that. The real problem that made it impossible to use this technology is not so much a matter of time problem but rather that we were going to have too many differences with the Wii U version and they both had to be identical games. But now that we can free ourselves from this connection, this constraint, since the Switch is developing well, we will be able to use this in the next Zelda.

HD rumble could have really added a sense of immersion to Breath of the Wild. Here’s what else he had to say about the next Zelda:

GR: Regarding the next Zelda, is there a schedule settled on yet? Could you give us any exclusive insights into that?

EA: No, you will not get a scoop! Sorry, my dear friend [laughs]. We have no plans for a future Zelda, we are still far from all this unfortunately for you. Today, I’m at a stage where I’m trying to gather a number of ideas for a sequel, but I cannot do it alone. It’s a lot of work that will have to be done over a long period of time, and we’re still far from having planned anything. Leave us a little time…

There you have it. He’s considering it as a sequel to Breath of the Wild, he wants to put in HD rumble, and he’s only just begun gathering ideas for it… suggesting were at least a couple years or longer away from seeing anything about it.


Nathanial Rumphol-Janc

A veteran in the video game media sphere, Nathanial co-founded Gamnesia, founded, ran the news the segment on the Zelda Universe Podcast, found and ran Zelda Domain from 1998 to 2006, and built Zelda Informer as the Editor-in-Chief from 2008 to 2017. He now owns and operates Nintendo Prime. You can follow him on twitter @NateJanc, otherwise just stay tuned at Nintendo Prime for more of his work.

  • RiverDevil

    I think the most interesting part of the source article is it confirms that working on DLC is taking time away from other ventures (namely, developing a new title). Not that this is surprising at all, resources are limited any anything devoted to one project can’t be used for another. but some people insist DLC doesn’t impact other works.

    It merely reinforces the fallacy of DLC if it’s delaying the next title (especially the weak DLC for BOTW which does not look like it will be 30 hours of new content, which would be closer to a new, shorter game). Sure, DLC is a quick way to earn high margin dollars with low risk, but at what cost? It’s a nice quick boost to the bottom line, but it sacrifices the long-term health of the console. Granted, I don’t know what a “long period of time” is, and I am sure Aonuma was speaking generally b/c at this point they don’t want to reveal too much about their dev cycle for the next Zelda, so maybe a long-time is only 2 years (holiday 2019) which is, at the latest, when the next main-line Zelda title should drop. But I think most people would take his quote to mean something longer, over 2 years, or even 3 years. That would be a mistake, and one Nintendo was supposed to be correcting with the switch. The huge reaction to BOTW and its success in driving “record” console sales only shows the need to have a consistent release of Zelda content for the health of the system in the marketplace

    Sidenote: I do realize the question asked about the next “Zelda” and it is possible Aonuma took that literally and his answer spoke of the next “proper”/main-line canon title, and excluded any forthcoming “real” spinoffs (e.g. a full game based on BOTW assets, not some shovelware or putting Zelda characters in some random game like Link’s crossbow). So it’s possible he was saying the next “Zelda” title is a long ways out, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get something similar more quickly (starring Zelda or someone else other than Link). That would be better than nothing, but I still think 3+ years is too long to go between main-line titles, especially when BOTW isn’t even a “proper” Switch game designed solely with the console’s capabilities in mind.

    It’s been about 15 years (with Wind Waker) since Nintendo has launched a Zelda title specifically designed for its originally intended home console at a time other than the final days of that console (TP and BOTW being mere ports of something intended for a prior gen).
    WW: 16 months after GC launch (NA dates)
    SS: 5 years after Wii launch
    BOTW: 4 years, 4 months after WiiU launch (even if you accept the last delay was solely so that it could come out simultaneously on switch, it would still have been some 3 years after WiiU launched)

    They have to fix this. Having your second-biggest IP, in its best form (not a port) available within 1-2 years of a console launch is business 101. I understand development can be difficult, and problems can arise, so missing a console’s launch window once or twice I can chalk up to the inevitabilities of the creative process. but the that fact that Zelda delays are a “given” only reinforces that there is poor management of the product at the top.