Those hoping to see The Legend of Zelda on Wii U this year are in for a wait as Nintendo is no longer targeting a 2015 release. Confirmed in an announcement by series producer Eiji Aonuma, The Legend of Zelda on Wii U will miss its originally projected release window in 2015.
Aonuma’s message was very consistent with what major Nintendo releases have shown in the past, citing an effort to truly explore the possibilities that the game possesses. Rather than tethering the development team to a deadline that could ultimately harm the end product, a delay makes the most sense in allowing the next The Legend of Zelda to flourish.
“As I have watched our development progress, I have come to think that rather than work with meeting a specific schedule as our main objective, and releasing a game that reflects only what we can create within that scheduled time, I feel strongly that our focus should be to bring all these ideas to life in a way that will make The Legend of Zelda on Wii U the best game it can possibly be.” – Eiji Aonuma, The Legend of Zelda Producer
Delays to The Legend of Zelda are nothing new for the franchise as Kotaku pointed out, with Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess all being delayed prior to release. Even Skyward Sword had a long development time with Nintendo remaining quiet on its release through 2010, only to have the game release in 2011. The delays have largely been positive for the games as even the weaker entries into the franchise have still been standout games.
The Legend of Zelda on Wii U on paper appears to be the most ambitious title in the franchise to date with focus shifting to a less linear, open world narrative with an emphasis on exploration. I have a ton of faith in Aonuma and his staff as Nintendo has yet to ship a bad Zelda game in some time.