Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma told Polygon about how fan feedback influenced Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Aonuma says that “A lot of the fans that played Skyward Sword said that they were really bummed out that they couldn’t find the hidden element of the game. A lot of the users, when they looked at the map, they said, ‘OK, there’s these places I can go, but how come I can’t go over here?’ Fans that enjoyed the motion controls in Skyward Sword may actually be a little bit disappointed playing this game.”
Aonuma says that the decision to create a bigger world was largely influenced by those fan responses. Aonuma continued, saying that “a lot of Zelda fans are the type of people who really like to explore those hidden elements. I realized that creating this bigger world and letting them freely play may be the solution to all of that.” Aonuma concluded by saying that “I’ve always thought that when creating a 3D game where it’s easy for users to get lost, it’s really important to tell the users what they need to do. But then, after creating this larger world, I realized that getting lost isn’t that bad. Having the option to do whatever you want and get lost is actually kind of fun. I think fans that enjoy a more linear type of gameplay will also enjoy this type of gameplay”.