Nintendo delayed Tears of the Kingdom by a full year to iron out bugs
When Nintendo delayed Tears of the Kingdom, the Zelda game was already finished – but it needed plenty of bug fixes. Series producer Eiji Aonuma made the comments during an interview with The Washington Post where he also expressed surprise over what Nintendo believed to be fans’ comparative lack of interest in the open-world sequel.
Aonuma said that during the 2022 Nintendo Direct when he announced the game’s delay, it was actually in a finished, presumably shippable, state. However, he said the delay was necessary to ensure “everything in the game was 100 percent” to Nintendo’s standards.
Given how complex Tears of the Kingdom is and how many creative opportunities it gives players – for better and for worse – the need for such extensive bug testing is unsurprising. True, the game might fave framerate hiccups when you activate Ultrahand, but everything you build works, and without causing some other part of the game to crumble into dust.
That creative potential is what finally convinced fans that Tears of the Kingdom was a worthwhile sequel, at least in Nintendo’s eyes. Aonuma said that, prior to the March Direct when he demonstrated Ultrahand and fusion for the first time, Nintendo thought fans were lukewarm on the game.
“People had not gotten their heads around the gameplay elements or where the fun might be,” Aonuma said.
Admittedly, Nintendo showed very little of the game up to that point, while Breath of the Wild had three days of showcases during 2016’s E3. Regardless, Aonuma said the last-minute March direct was what fans, and Nintendo, needed to feel confident in Tears of the Kingdom again.
That confidence wasn’t misplaced, either. Tears of the Kingdom sold over 10 million copies in its first three days.
Written by Josh Broadwell on behalf of GLHF