Do you guys remember the first trailer for Breath of the Wild that was unveiled back in 2014? Do you remember that large amount of people who thought Link was female due to his pony tail and androgynous looks? Well, all that theorizing and speculation that was going on at that time was what eventually lead Hyrule Warriors producer, Yousuke Hayashi, to explore the idea of a female Link, ultimately leading to the creation of Linkle.
Based on a quote by Aonuma, it seems the decision was made quite randomly: “There was talk about the female Link and at the time we thought ‘Oh yeah, that might be fun’. In Mr. Hayashi’s mind, that idea cemented.”
In regards to the female Link speculation that was going on at the time, Aonuma clarified that his vague answers about Link back in 2014 weren’t intended to make people think that Link would be female, but it was rather because the game was in a very incomplete stage at the time. “My intention was to say ‘This isn’t done, and there may be changes coming to that’. I, in no way, had intention of leading people into believing Link was female.”
That confusion lead to so much speculation about a female Link up until the day before E3, so it looks like Aonuma needs to be a bit more careful with his wording next time in order to not create such a big confusion next time.