New ‘Legend of Zelda’: Nintendo sticking with ‘Breath of the Wild’ partner
Nintendo has a high bar to clear when it comes to a new “Legend of Zelda” and is teaming up with the same partner studio from “Breath of the Wild” as development ramps up.
Majority-owned by Nintendo since 2007, Monolith Soft put out the call for experienced artists, planners, designers and programmers, along with a project manager for a new “Legend of Zelda” game.
Though Monolith Soft helped with 2017 bestseller “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, it was already no stranger to the series, having assisted with 2011’s Zelda game “Skyward Sword” and 2013’s “A Link Between Worlds”.
Its experience with the sort of ambitious, large-scale epic that “Breath of the Wild” became went back further still, having turned out Japanese opus “Xenoblade Chronicles” in 2010.
That release was so successful that Nintendo eventually released it internationally, after more than a year of fan petitioning and importing.
Created primarily by Nintendo’s Entertainment Planning & Development division, “Breath of the Wild” was the Nintendo Switch’s big launch title.
Although made available on the older Wii U console, “Breath of the Wild” helped propel the newer Switch to an impressive 2.74 million sales over its first month of availability.
It was received as Nintendo’s superlative take on open world adventure, a genre already populated by best-sellers like “Skyrim”, “Grand Theft Auto V”, and to some extent, the generationally-defining “Minecraft”.
In fact, “Breath of the Wild” was considered so essential that Nintendo reported more sales of the Switch game than of the console itself during that first month on sale.
Two years on and it remains the Switch’s fourth best-selling title, surpassed only by “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”, “Super Mario Odyssey” and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”, while year-end figures from Nintendo had November 2018’s “Pokémon Let’s Go” pairing as the Switch’s fifth most popular game.
Nintendo has not formally announced a brand new “Legend of Zelda”. The franchise began in 1986 and since 2011’s enthusiastically received “Ocarina of Time 3D”, previous series high points have been regularly re-released for contemporary Nintendo consoles.
In this way, 1993’s “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” is next on the schedule of announced “Zelda” games, set for introduction to the Switch library at some point over the course of 2019. CE/JB
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