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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released back in 2017 to rapturous critical acclaim. The Nintendo Switch launch title/Wii U swansong offered players a bold, brilliant reinvention of one of gaming's most revered franchises. Needless to say, we were all incredibly excited when Nintendo revealed over the summer that a sequel to our game of the decade is currently in development.
Obviously we all knew Nintendo would release a new Zelda game at some point, but the mysterious upcoming entry looks to be a direct sequel/prequel to Breath of the Wild. This is something that doesn't happen very often in the Zelda franchise - but when it does, it usually means that we're in for slightly less of a wait between games.
Given that the in-development sequel will - we assume - be using the same engine as Breath of the Wild, it's our hope that we at least won't have the same six-year wait that we had to endure between Skyward Sword and the most recent entry (for home consoles anyway, as A Link Between Worlds is a banger and no mistake).
In fact, the latest report on the anticipated sequel suggests that we don't have much longer to wait at all. How does a 2020 release date sound to you?
This information comes via reliable Nintendo leaker Sabi, who reports that Nintendo is currently internally targeting a 2020 release window for the Breath of the Wild sequel. It's worth noting that Sabi previously leaked so many E3 announcements ahead of time that Nintendo allegedly threatened her with legal action.
It also seems to line up with a previous report from Eurogamer, which suggested that Nintendo wants to release a major Zelda title on Switch every year. Breath of the Wild came out in 2017, and 2018 had Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition. 2019 had the delightful remake of the Game Boy classic, Link's Awakening. Hopefully that means 2020 will indeed be the year we get our Breath of the Wild follow-up.
As exciting as this is, I would point out that an internal target is very much subject to change, especially when Nintendo is concerned. There's every chance the company could decide to push the game back to 2021 - maybe even 2022 - to make sure it's as good as it can be.
This is Nintendo after all, and if it thinks it needs to delay a game to ensure its quality, it'll delay as much as it needs to (as has been the case with its upcoming Metroid and Animal Crossing games). Sabi added as much herself on Twitter, reminding us that Nintendo has a history of internally and public delaying its games.
While I wouldn't advise holding out too much hope for a 2020 release then, I think we can at least allow ourselves to get a little excited over this news. If Nintendo really is aiming for 2020, that at least means we probably won't have to wait another six years for the next "core" Zelda title. Probably.
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