It had been well over a year since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 was announced during E3 2019 when we finally learned what was happening next in the franchise on Tuesday. Nintendo announced Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a Breath of the Wild prequel, during a surprise livestream and also gave a brief update on the status of the main sequel.
For those hoping that Breath of the Wild 2 would come out soon, producer Eiji Aonuma's comments on a release date might be disappointing.
The presentation confirmed that Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will be released on November 20, 2020. And because this game is clearly coming out before Breath of the Wild 2, this means that there's virtually no way that the sequel will be released in 2020. Furthermore, it's now much more unlikely that it'll be released in 2021 as well.
The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma offered a small update on the game as part of a longer video delving deeper into Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
"We mentioned in the June 2019 Nintendo Direct presentation that we had started development on the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," he said. "Regarding the sequel, in order to make the vast world you enjoyed exploring in the original game even more impressive, the team is working hard on its development. So you'll have to wait a bit longer before we can provide more updates."
Aonuma's comments, while not exactly enlightening, do suggest that we won't hear more about Breath of the Wild 2 for the rest of this year. The focus for the series over the next few months will likely be all about Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which Nintendo will reveal more about on September 26.
While Tuesday's announcement wasn't what we expected, it still is quite revealing. Aonuma confirmed that the game will retain the same impressive open world that the original touted while adding that it will be even more robust than before. From a story standpoint, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will certainly add more context. For all we know, its plot will be directly relevant to the upcoming sequel.
As was briefly mentioned, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a prequel to Breath of the Wild. Players will experience the Great Calamity and the massive battles that occurred which ultimately result in the heroes losing and Link being put to sleep for 100 years.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will clearly offer more insight into Breath of the Wild's world. As such, it wouldn't be surprising if Koei Tecmo and Nintendo lay some narrative groundwork for Breath of the Wild 2 in this important spin-off.
While Breath of the Wild 2 is definitely further off than some expected, we'll at least have another Zelda game to try on Nintendo Switch this year.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will be released on November 20, 2020.