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Future Zelda games will have an open-world design, says producer Eiji Aonuma

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Breath of the Wild made some fundamental changes to the Zelda series. How can the series evolve from here?

With the release and incredible success of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, many wonder what this means for future titles in the series. The Zelda series is ever-evolving, but key innovations have carried from one title to the next. What will happen to Breath of the Wild‘s reinvented open-world structure? According to Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma, this design will be integral to all future games in the series.

In a recent interview with Famitsu (and translated by IGN), Aonuma spoke up about whether or not the Zelda series would continue using Breath of the Wild‘s “open-air concept.”

“From now on, this will probably be the standard form,” Aonuma said. “However, eventually that in itself could become seen as ‘Zelda as usual’, and we would start to hear opinions this way and that way. This has always been the case, and the result of what we have made is ‘Zelda’.”

At one point in time, dungeon progression was fresh and new, but that became an expected part of the Zelda series. With Ocarina of Time, the series set the standard for 3D action-adventure games. By changing up dungeon progression and the way a 3D environment reacts to the player, Breath of the Wild felt completely new.

However, the core idea behind the latest Zelda entry is not new. In order to create something that feels so fresh, Nintendo looked back at the original game in the series. This was a world where players could freely explore at their own pace. It’s this idea that is pushed even further in Breath of the Wild.

We gave The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 4.5/5 stars saying it is “unlike any Legend of Zelda game you’ve played before.” Where can the series evolve from here?