Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Producer Said the Game Was Nearly Finished in 2022
The producer behind The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Eiji Aonuma, reveals that the game was pretty much complete and set to release last year but still required a year-long delay. This entry in the long-running franchise has been finally released after much anticipation, earning plenty of praise from fans and critics. While not as bad as some other games of its caliber, the game had a few times it was delayed during its development cycle. The number of delays it had might have been for the better, as Tears of the Kingdom has seen success critically and commercially.
Tears of the Kingdom was hit with a big delay last year, moving from its targeted March 2022 release to the following year, which some fans had some trepidation over initially. Big open-world games of this caliber have had issues at launch, even after they were delayed. Cyberpunk 2077 is usually the big offender when delays are brought up as not helping the product’s quality, though that game had its own set of issues during development. According to Aonuma however, Tears of the Kingdom’s delay was necessary for its release, even if it was almost ready for launch at that time.
In an interview between Aonuma and The Washington Post, the expectations for Tears of the Kingdom were incredibly high following the critical and commercial reception of Breath of the Wild. Aonuma stated that the delay was announced to make sure that everything in the game was to their standards. As such, after Tears of the Kingdom‘s delay, the last year was spent polishing it and making sure the physics worked as intended.
Eiji Aonuma said when he announced in March 2022 a delay for Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, the game was pretty much complete.
The last year was spent on polish, making sure the wild physics of the game just work. https://t.co/jb2qlonWsO
— Gene Park (@GenePark) May 21, 2023
This reasoning is similar to how Breath of the Wild got delayed, going from a targeted 2015 release and eventually moving to 2017. These could be pinned on the game’s physics engine, which was cited to be the main cause of development woes. Despite that, the physics were among the most praised and striking aspects of the game, so its delays were to its benefit. Despite Tears of the Kingdom having similar physics, it also introduced a number of complex additions with its Ascend and Fuse mechanics.
Tears of the Kingdom proves that delays are a sort of necessary evil in the gaming industry, where if they’re implemented correctly, it can see a game polished to an astounding degree. Tears of the Kingdom has avoided the faults of recent releases like Redfall and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor which suffered from poor performance or graphics on launch. Hopefully, other gaming companies can follow this example and use delays to properly polish their game instead of using them as a crutch when poor scheduling has a game miss its targeted date.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is available now for Nintendo Switch.
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