'Breath of the Wild 2' release date teased by new Nintendo job listing
Legend of Zelda fans have been scrambling for hints, leaks, and updates about the Breath of the Wild sequel Nintendo announced at E3 2019 in June. There’s been little in the way of official statements about BotW 2, but a new Nintendo job opening suggests anyone hoping for a 2020 release date shouldn’t hold their…breath.
Nintendo Japan recently tweeted about some new job listings for a “scenario planner” and “level designer” for BotW 2. These updates followed a previous batch of position openings for “terrain designers,” which is a strong sign that Nintendo is still building out the game’s core development team.
The original Breath of the Wild took 300 developers nearly five years to build. Nintendo first announced the game in 2013, four years before it came out. A one-year turnaround since the announcement of BotW 2 sounds overly ambitious. But fans of the series might not need to wait all that much longer.
A recent and sketchy 4chan rumor claimed that the BotW 2’s release will be pinned to the launch of the rumored “Switch 2” or “Switch Pro” in January 2021. The potential console was said to be exclusively for home gaming and will support 4K resolution.
Breath of the Wild launched alongside the original Switch in March 2017, so the release of Nintendo’s flagship Zelda series alongside a high-end console wouldn’t be unprecedented. A souped-up console could be a way for Nintendo to let BotW 2’s graphics shine without having to spend that much time refining the game’s engine. That would save developers time and could make a 2021 release a reality.
Nintendo’s BotW 2 E3 2019 teaser looked aesthetically identical to the original, minus a few dynamic shadows that flickered across Zelda and Link’s face. The game’s development might take less time than its predecessor if Nintendo uses the same engine as the backbone, while offering higher resolution with a new, landlocked console for fans who really want graphical improvements.
This could also be a way for the company to continue release at least one Legend of Zelda game a year. Nintendo seems content with releasing ports or remasters of pervious titles, like Link’s Awakening or the 2018 Zelda Warriors: Hyrule All-Stars DX to fill the gaps between marquee releases.
That means 2020 could see yet another port or remaster of a classic Legend of Zelda title, while the BotW 2 team write Link and Zelda’s next open-world adventure.
Breath of the Wild 2 is currently under development and coming to the Nintendo Switch … eventually.