What a whirlwind week this has been for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild release date news. If you’ve been following the rumors, you’ll know that it seemed like everyone was convinced that the game was going to miss the Nintendo Switch launch. We were pretty convinced at first too, since multiple sources seemed to point at a summer or later date. As November and December wore on and Nintendo kept showing off new screens, videos, and even went on The Tonight Show with Zelda, we started to wonder why they’d put so much work in advertising the game alongside the system when it supposedly wouldn’t be available at launch. It just rubbed us the wrong way.
Then on Sunday of this week the cracks began to appear and sources like Emily Rogers and Laura Dale reversed their previous claims and said it would most likely be a launch game. Of course, during game development many things can happen that have an impact on release date. We had pretty much given up hope of a Zelda being a Switch launch title, so imagine our giddiness when things began to appear like it would be out in just two short months!
Today, Eurogamer ran a story confirming the same rumors, that they had heard Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be launching alongside the Nintendo Switch in March. Well, at least in Japan and North America. But, what about Europe? Well, the jury is still out due to the number of languages needed to be included in localization. According to Eurogamer:
Multiple sources close to Nintendo have now told Eurogamer that, at the end of last year, Japan finalised its plans and had a change of heart: Switch needed the strongest possible launch lineup. In short, Zelda will release in March in North America and Japan. Zelda’s launch timing in Europe is still unclear.
Nintendo of Europe, which will be impacted most by this change, had previously pushed for as long a period of testing and localisation as could be allowed and had been working to the proposed schedule of a global launch after the Switch itself.
One source tells Eurogamer that Japan had always wanted the game to launch in March, and had been uncomfortable waiting until later. Another source says the decision to move ahead with March regardless of Europe was only finalised by committee at the end of last year.
We should know for certain whether Zelda is a Switch launch game next week when Nintendo holds its Switch presentation, Treehouse Live event, and press events. We’re hoping all three territories will get Zelda goodness on day one!