Eiji Aonuma says Breath of the Wild may have been the most enjoyable Zelda game to work on
Eiji Aonuma has been involved with the Zelda series for many, many years. Yet out of all of the games he’s contributed to, Breath of the Wild may have been the most enjoyable one to work on.
Aonuma spoke extensively about the process of making Breath of the Wild in the latest issue of Game Informer. The reason why development was so enjoyable was due to the staff working on the game. Aonuma said that the team “took so much initiative, and were always looking at everything in the game with this eye to improve.” Even though Aonuma was worried about how Breath of the Wild would turn out, that feeling started to fade as he saw the staff put Breath of the Wild together.
Aonuma shared the following when asked about one moment or accomplishment that stands out:
You know, I’ve been making Zelda titles for almost my entire career, and the memories start to pile up. I start to forget things, but I think one thing I’ve always been poud of is the fact that Zelda games have always been about new surprises and thinking about different things to try, yet still maintain that Zeldaness, or whatever it is.
To touch on Breath of the Wild, it was really fun to develop – maybe the most fun I’ve ever had making a game. It was because of the staff. They took so much initiative, and were always looking at everything in the game with this eye to improve. They took so much initiative. I could see it every day. As a producer, it gave me a lot of courage, and made me realize “Okay, this could actually work.”
The people who made this game didn’t have troubled faces. They were smiling the whole time they worked on it. At the start of development, with all of the new things we were doing, I definitely was worried – I had a worried face. As a I saw the staff put it together, that concern started to go away. We were doing challenging new things, but we always did them with a smile. I don’t think I’ve experienced that before. The development experience was so great, and the game that came out of it was great. That’s something I’m really proud of.
On top of that, in the [new downloadable content], we got the motorbike I wanted in. That’s what I really want to leave you with. [laughs]
Aonuma began directing Zelda games in 1998 with Ocarina of Time. He has transitioned to a producer role in more recent years, which was his position for Breath of the Wild.