A new rumor claims The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be delayed past its current March 2017 launch window due to issues with localizing the game.
Although only a handful of games have been announced for 2017, there’s one that immediately sticks out as one of the most highly anticipated of the year: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The next installment in the Zelda franchise looks to be one of Nintendo’s most ambitious titles yet, and could easily become next year’s game of the year.
It comes at no surprise then that Nintendo wants to get The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild right, and if a current rumor is to be believed, that desire for perfection could lead to yet another delay for the title.
The rumor comes by way of Emily Rogers (AKA arcadegirl64), who claims to have sources at or close to Nintendo saying Breath of the Wild will not see a March release, as was originally said to have been planned. Instead, it seems looks like the Zelda game will be available sometime during the summer of 2017.
The reason for the delay, according to Rogers, is the localization going on with the game. Essentially, Nintendo has to localize every aspect of the title, such as the text, NPCs, and quests, so that gamers in every region around the world can enjoy the game in their own language. Sadly, it seems the process of localization is taking a bit longer than anticipated, and likely won’t be completed until this December.
While it may seem like a good thing that localization is set to complete three months before release, the expectation seems to be that Breath of the Wild will require four-to-six months of testing after localization wraps up before it can be released. So if localization isn’t completed until the end of December, the earliest gamers can hope to see Breath of the Wild is April.
That said, Nintendo has a unique opportunity this Spring with the release of its newest console, the Nintendo Switch, so it may not be in the cards for the company to delay Breath of the Wild beyond its planned March launch. In order for it to make the kind of sales it wants for the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo will need to offer a stellar lineup of launch titles, and having Breath of the Wild in that list would be very helpful to boosting sales of both the new hardware and game.
Then again, with such an ambitious title, it seems Nintendo may be more interested in getting the game as close to perfect as possible before release, rather than risk potential issues to meet a deadline. If Breath of the Wild launches alongside the Nintendo Switch, but is a broken game, it could hurt Switch sales down the road. Conversely, if the title releases a month or two after the Nintendo Switch, but arrives free of bugs, it could greatly increase the sales of the Switch at that time.
It’ll be interesting to see the direction Nintendo takes, and how much information it provides about the title right now. Depending on the state of the game at the New Year, gamers could see a more detailed update during the January Nintendo Switch event that the company is currently planning.
What do you think about this rumor? Do you think Breath of the Wild will be delayed past March 2017?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is currently set to launch in 2017 for Wii U and Nintendo Switch.