A ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ sequel is definitely coming — but when?

A gamer  playing Zelda during the presentation of the new Nintendo switch
Laurent Chamussy/Sipa/Shutterstock
ByTebany Yune

Hey, Nintendo, how are you doing? It's been a little while since we last heard about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel and we're getting kinda antsy for more news. There's so many questions flying around, you know, and it's starting to get to us. Is the development process going well? Might we get a peek at the gameplay this year? Will Princess Zelda be playable? Is hot rehydrated Ganondorf going to be a thing? (Please say yes.)

For anyone else who missed it, last year, during E3, Nintendo released a short trailer for the sequel to their latest game in The Legend of Zelda series, Breath of the Wild (BotW). The trailer featured tantalizing scenes depicting an ominous cavern, swirling magic, dark energy, and a mummified corpse. The tone of the 86-second video was haunting and lacked the bright scenery and expansive landscapes one would expect from the first Breath of the Wild. It intrigued players and prompted comparisons from long-time fans to Majora's Mask — another Legend of Zelda sequel that took on a darker tone than its original.

Fans immediately took to social media to throw around theories and hopeful expectations, but Nintendo didn't provide much else to fuel the fires. All that was announced was that the sequel, called BotW 2 by some fans, was currently in development.

Since Nintendo hasn't said much, rumors have been flying around about the state of the game's development. The latest rumors predict that the sequel probably won't be ready for release until at least 2021, as the development team still appears to be hiring level designers and scenario planners for the sequel. This wouldn't be too unlikely of a scenario, since Legend of Zelda games are notorious among fans for being delayed. The delays usually pay off, however, with the introduction to new graphics or mechanics that make each game stand out in its own way.

Not too much has been said about how the game will play, either, but a Kotaku interview with the series' producer, Eiji Aonuma, shed a very small light on what players could expect — which, in short, is some of the same, but better and possibly more refined. This assumption comes from an interview question about why the team decided to make a sequel. Aonuma said that the inspiration for a sequel originally came as they made DLC for Breath of the Wild.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild / Nintendo Co., Ltd.

"Initially we were thinking of just DLC ideas," he explained, "but then we had a lot of ideas and we said, 'This is too many ideas, let’s just make one new game and start from scratch.'" But while DLC proved to be "a great way to add more elements to the same world," any other ideas that stretched beyond the first game couldn't be added on. "And so," Aonuma continued, "when we wanted to add bigger changes, DLC is not enough, and that's why we thought maybe a sequel would be a good fit."

He also noted that dungeons with multiple solutions were a hit among players, and considered it something he wanted to "polish up and use for inspiration going forward."

Previous rumors, when the trailer first released, speculated that the series' long-time villain, Ganondorf, will make a return. Zelda's new, adventurer-like look also prompted hopes that she will be a playable character. It would be a fresh and welcome change for the series, which usually pits Link as the primary playable character.

As always, these rumors should be taken with a hefty grain of salt until Nintendo comes out with official statements. Fans are hoping that the company will provide an update on any Breath of the Wild 2 developments through a Nintendo Direct video or in June during this year's E3.