The development of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the longest ever for the franchise, and even the longest of all game’s development for Nintendo. When it was first announced in 2013, the game was initially supposed to be released as an exclusive for the Wii U. But it was delayed twice, and the game also became a launch title for the Nintendo Switch.
With this change of plans right in the middle of development, the Nintendo teams had to make some rearrangements and come up with a game that satisfied both systems capacities. In a recent interview with IGN, Hidemaro Fujibayashi – Game Director of Zelda Breath of the Wild – talked about this difficult transition phase, and the changes that had to be done. Fujibayashi reveals in it that the game was supposed to have more touchscreen features related to the Sheikah Slate, but they were cut off to have a better experience on the Switch.
You can read the full interview here.
“When we were developing the game for the Wii U, we had touch features implemented as you have seen. Once we began to develop the game in tandem for the Switch, we aimed to provide the same gameplay experience across both on Switch and Wii U. In doing our testing without the touch features we noticed looking back and forth between the GamePad and the screen actually took a little something away from this type of Zelda game.
Without the touch features it actually turned out to be a really strong gameplay experience. After more experimentation and testing out, we realised that this is the best way to experience the game. That’s how we ended up with the current gameplay style in the production version. There was no hesitation or reluctance in removing those features because we felt the way it is now is the best way to play the game.” – Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Zelda BotW Game Director