Disclaimer: Everything in this blog post is rumor until proven otherwise. Please take everything with a grain of salt.
Update – January 1st, 2017
After speaking with new sources at NOA, it has come to my attention that the original rumor was incorrect and Zelda will be releasing in March. As you might remember, Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips and LPVG’s Laura Kate Dale reported similar stories about Zelda missing March. The new evidence that I’ve received has given me reason to believe that Breath of the Wild will release in March as planned.
Breath of the Wild is one of the largest games — if not the largest game — that Nintendo has ever developed. It’s probably larger than Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, and Wind Waker combined.
In early September, I heard rumblings that the localization for the game was becoming more work than anyone had anticipated. They have to localize all of the game’s text, NPCs, quests, etc. Then, around October, I received another update that Zelda’s localization was still not going as smoothly as planned. “A very ambitious game, maybe even too much,” claimed one particular source.
That brings us to the month of November. More sources have now come forward and corroborated my information. They’ve told me that localization for Breath of the Wild might not be finished until the end of December. After localization is completed, this game will require between (at least) four-to-six months of testing. As I mentioned earlier, this is one of Nintendo’s largest and most ambitious games ever. The amount of testing required for a huge open-world game like this is enormous. Nintendo’s intention is to have the game as bug free as possible.
Based on what I’ve heard, I have no reason to believe that Breath of the Wild will be a March title. There’s a much higher chance of Breath of the Wild being a summer 2017 game.
On an unrelated note, I’ve also heard whispers of the Switch version of BoTW running more smoothly than the Wii U version. Furthermore, I hear the final version of the game is a bit harder than what the press and media played at E3. Actually, I hear they toned down the E3 demo’s difficulty a tiny bit because they wanted journalists and press members to have fun exploring.
That’s all for now, but keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post. I’ll be discussing other Switch games later this week.