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Open-World Is A Priority For The Legend of Zelda, Says Series Producer


Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has once again touched upon some of the changes that Nintendo intend to make to the long-running series in upcoming games. Speaking with Mashable, Aonuma says that one such change is the make the games more “open”.


“I think the most open-world Zelda we’ve had so far has been Wind Waker, just because you were able to sail the ocean and go all over the islands,” Aonuma says. “When creating a game, we look at what is the core, kernel gameplay. You try to construct the game around that, and making that core mechanic the easiest to access.”


He elaborates: “For Skyward Sword, that kind of narrowed, focused world helped us with that, but at the same time it meant you didn’t have that wide-open world to explore. We’ve heard the complaint about lack of openness from a lot of fans. As we’re deciding what the core gameplay mechanic was, we have that open-world desire at the forefront of our minds, and we’re trying to figure out how to incorporate that as well.”


Aonuma says he now has a better idea of what Zelda fans want out of the series, as a result of social media and the Zelda community on Miiverse. “I have a lot more access to what fans are saying and I interact with them more,” he shares. “I think that’s very important, and I also think that’s something I want to do more of.”


Finally, Aonuma briefly mentions what game he’s been playing these days.


Monster Hunter 4,” he replies, when asked. “I was playing it in the lobby this morning. I play with three of my directors every day at lunch.”

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.