The ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2’ Delay Breaks Series Record for Longest Development Time Between Console Games

Nintendo fans had their fears confirmed on March 29 when the video game company announced another The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 delay. The newest announcement pushes the game out of Nintendo’s 2022 slate entirely, skipping the Summer, Fall, and Winter release seasons. And the Breath of the Wild 2 delay breaks a series record for the longest development time between console games previously held by Skyward Sword and the original BOTW.

Link and Zelda from 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'
Link and Zelda from ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ | Nintendo

After the delay, what is the new ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2’ release date?

Nintendo announced that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 will now release in Spring 2023.

Nintendo Switch players first took Link into the ruined Hyrule to rescue Princess Zelda from Calamity Ganon in 2017. Since then, players have explored every shrine on the map, collected all 900 Korok Seeds, and perfected speed runs.

Two years later, Nintendo announced BOTW 2  at the 2019 E3. While they leaked information to ravenous players one drip at a time, it seemed like the Breath of the Wild 2 release date was finally set for 2022.

RELATED: 10 Best ‘Legend of Zelda’ Characters of All Time According to Fans

However, The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma spoke in an update video. He announced another Breath of the Wild 2 delay, this time for sometime in Spring 2023.

This means that BOTW 2 breaks an unfortunate series record, making it the longest development time between console games, which was previously held by the gap between The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011) and Breath of the Wild (2017).

‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2’ delay makes its development time the longest in the series

The Legend of Zelda series has an unfortunate trend of ever-growing gaps between mainline games. The gap between the original 1986 Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was only one year in 1987. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask only had a two-year gap.

Development time between The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000) and The Wind Waker (2003) was three years. In another three years, players received Twilight Princess in 2006.

However, players had to wait five years before The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword dropped on Nintendo Wii in November 2011. And then came the long wait.

Fans waited five years and three months before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released in March 2017.

With a projected release date of Spring 2023, the Breath of the Wild 2 delay smashes that series record, making players wait an unprecedented six years.

Fans saw the Spring 2023 delay coming from a mile away

While Nintendo announcing another Breath of the Wild 2 delay is heartbreaking, it’s hardly surprising to some fans.

A poll revealed that even the most optimistic fans were only 80% certain the game would release in 2022.

Outlets combed through financial reports to discover if Nintendo would actually release the game this year.

However, whether they predicted it or not, fans have to wait another year before they can play BOTW 2 on Nintendo Switch.

RELATED: ‘Breath of the Wild 2’ Release Date Poll Reveals Fans Are Only 80% Sure ‘The Legend of Zelda’ Game Will Come Out in 2022