It’s no surprise that Zelda is one of Nintendo’s largest and most successful franchises. But as game development costs have skyrocketed in recent years, the pressure to sell more and more copies of a game for financial gain is stronger than ever. In an interview with GenGAME owner Mases Hagopian, Aonuma explains that even though he wants Zelda to have strong sales, this does not drive a Zelda game’s development. Aonuma had this to say to Mr. Hagopian:
: Two years ago you showed the tech-demo for Zelda. It had more of a Twilight Princess look and Hyrule Warriors has somewhat carried that same design. Twilight Princess though was one of the most traditional games, but it was also one of the most successful games. Does a game’s success, in terms of sales numbers, does that affect the type of Zelda game that you personally like to create?
: I don’t look back. (laughs)
I always want to create something unique, and the reason for that is not just because it makes for a more fun game experience once the game is completed, but as a creator it also makes things more interesting for my team and myself. Images and expressions and all of those things, in order to make those unique, we don’t start with a plan that is set in stone from the beginning, it’s definitely an evolution. We may have a basic concept in the beginning, but as we are working through those concepts, they are going to evolve, they are going to change. So that’s how that particular tech demo you saw early on has evolved to what you saw in the trailer.”
It’s good to hear that even though Aonuma is aware of the importance of strong sales, he doesn’t let that affect the creative process during development. It seems that as long as Aonuma is around as the Zelda series’ producer, the focus will always be on creating the best gaming experience possible, regardless of how well a particular game sells.