Eiji Aonuma has worked on many Zelda titles since his initial role as the director of Ocarina of Time, becoming almost synonymous with the series itself. In the nearly 20 years since beginning work with the franchise, Mr. Aonuma has rarely spoken about his favorite title to work on, although he has previously said that Phantom Hourglass is his favorite Zelda title to play. In the most recent issue of Game Informer, however, Mr. Aonuma said that Breath of the Wild might have been his favorite title to make and that this is mostly because of the team behind development.
When asked about a moment or accomplishment that stands out to him, Mr. Aonuma had this to say:
“You know, I’ve been making Zelda titles for almost my entire career, and the memories start to pile up. I start to forget things, but I think one thing I’ve always been proud of is the fact that Zelda games have always been about new surprises and thinking about different things to try, yet still maintain that Zeldaness, or whatever it is.
To touch on Breath of the Wild, it was really fun to develop – maybe the most fun I’ve ever had making a game. It was because of the staff. They took so much initiative and were always looking at everything in the game with this eye to improve. They took so much initiative. I could see it every day. As a producer, it gave me a lot of courage, and made me realize ‘Okay, this could actually work’.”
The people who made this game didn’t have troubled faces. They were smiling the whole time they worked on it. At the start of development, with all of the new things we were doing, I definitely was worried – I had a worried face. As I saw the staff put it together, that concern started to go away. We were doing challenging new things, but we always did them with a smile. I don’t think I’ve experienced that before. The development experience was so great, and the game that came out of it was great. That’s something I’m really proud of.
On top of that, in the [new downloadable content], we got the motorbike I wanted in. That’s what I really want to leave you with. [laughs]”
Mr. Aonuma has filled many roles throughout his work with the series and is currently filling the role of Zelda series producer and manager.