The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a huge change for the series, breaking from the tradition set by previous classics like Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker. The new game shifted from a traditional linear structure to an open-world experience where you could complete the main story in any order you wanted — or skip parts of it entirely. Breath of the Wild was also a huge success for Nintendo, so it's not a big surprise that the company will stick with this new formula for the next Zelda game.
Next Zelda game after Breath of the Wild: Another open world
After releasing a game like Breath of the Wild, it's tough to imagine going back to the way things were. Luckily, Zelda players won't have to. In an interview with Famitsu (via Esuteru), Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma commented on the scope of Breath of the Wild. According to GoNintendo, JapaneseNintendo's Twitter and our own rough Google translation, Aonuma claims that Zelda will be an open world game from now on.
An official translation hasn't been made available yet. Though towards the end of the Q&A snippet, we see Aonuma touch on the "open air" style of game and how it may become the standard. If you just heard a thousand eye-rolls in the distance, that was the part of team Zelda tasked with creating the next game.
Next Zelda game after Breath of the Wild: A direct sequel?
Some have speculated that we could receive another Zelda game for Nintendo Switch using the same engine as Breath of the Wild — similar to what Nintendo did with Majora's Mask after Ocarina of Time was released.
This might be possible, but the Zelda team will more likely pour their sequel efforts into the coming Zelda: Breath of the Wild downloadable content before focusing on the next game. DLC buyers can expect to see a new original story added to BotW along with a for-pay hard mode. But after that, who knows.
Check out more Zelda: Breath of the Wild news and coverage
Find out all there is to know about Zelda: Breath of the Wild, including our running list of all the people of color in Hyrule. Learn how to preserve your items, how to beat bosses like the Stone Talus and Lynel, the best recipes for Link and how to take on the game's shrines. If you're looking to snag a giant horse with little stamina, here's how to do it. You'll also want to find out where all the great fairies are in the game, how to use amiibo with your version of Zelda and what went into making Breath of the Wild.