A very large E3 2019 interview with Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma was published by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier earlier today. Aonuma discussed a wide variety of topics. Firstly, Aonuma chimed in the debate about crunch and Nintendo’s working conditions. Here’s what Aonuma said:
“When creating a game, game development is all about the people. So if one of them or any of them aren’t well, that definitely affects the game and overall quality, and that’s just not good. We always try to think flexibility about delivery dates, and in the past I’ve apologized for delays. That’s because staff comes first, and I always want to think about it when creating a game.
Overall as a Nintendo work culture, we focus on flexibility. And so even the staff have that flexibility of when to focus, and use their energy on something, or they have a little bit of leeway in their work schedule, don’t have to exert themselves so much. They can maintain that balance themselves. Especially for Breath of the Wild, it was the same, and we focused on the staff. We didn’t have anybody be exerted or anything like that, and I think we were able to achieve our goal.
Every day’s a little bit different. Just to explain maybe an average day: In the morning I’ll check my mail, take care of that. In the afternoon, it depends on what’s needed—sometimes one of the teammates will ask for advice or I’ll play through something just to make sure it’s fun. And then before I go home I’ll check my email. Lately I’ve been able to go home pretty early, so it’s been good.”
Secondly, Aonuma revealed how Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 came to be. Aonuma said that “when we released the DLC for Breath of the Wild, we realized that this is a great way to add more elements to the same world. But when it comes down to technical things, DLC is pretty much data—you’re adding data to a preexisting title. And so when we wanted to add bigger changes, DLC is not enough, and that’s why we thought maybe a sequel would be a good fit. Initially we were thinking of just DLC ideas, but then we had a lot of ideas and we said, ‘This is too many ideas, let’s just make one new game and start from scratch.’”
Thirdly, there was discussion about the possibility of a Zelda Maker in the future. Aonuma says that “I can’t predict the future, but if people do love this idea of arranging dungeons, I’ll keep that in mind going forward”. Lastly, there was something that Schreier “didn’t squeeze into the interview” and wasn’t sure “if it’s public info”. Apparently, Aonuma revealed that his team is working on Breath Of The Wild 2. Meanwhile, Grezzo is handling the remake of Link’s Awakening.