Why do Zelda Console games take 5 years to develop.... ?

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JNK said:
they do take ALOT time into planning the game. The games are often very unique and all the dungeons and riddles have to be thought.
Making a Zelda game is easily compareable to making a GTA game.

That doesn't strike me as a particularly apt comparison. In terms of sheer scale, these games are very different animals. And Zelda dungeons are, with very few exceptions, not exactly complex, or even particularly deep; they aren't bad, but they're pretty simple overall.

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New engine each time. But windwaker was a new engine too I think.

Anyway good things come to those who wait.....

S.Peelman said:

Yeah a lot of the time is sucked up by the experimenting. I remember they said once that they took three years to perfect the 1-1 swordplay mechanics of Skyward Sword and come up with an art-style that suited it...

I agree having three years as the total development time would be much more favorable. Even Iwata thinks so, because he said he wanted 'the next Zelda' after SS to come out in three years' time, but Aonuma doesn't really seems to listen. On the other hand though, even if I want to play it like, now, the delay will probably turn out for the best and it will be awesome for sure.

The artyle, perhaps, but after 3 years the best swordplay they could come up with was...that? I sometimes wonder if they over-thought that one.

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You can't really compare the Zelda team to Rockstar considering Rockstar San Diego developed RDR, not Rockstar North (who develops GTA). Yes, people are crossed over and used for both studios, but they're largely different teams.

That said, if we're going to list different teams as one and the same, EAD3 developed every Zelda since FSA. This includes the handheld games. That roughly equals Rockstar from 2008-2013, since PH, ST, SS, LBW, and Link's Crossbow Training are much smaller in scale compared to a Rockstar game.

That all said, the reason these games take so long is because Aonuma is god awful at pacing the team. Man's a genius, but sometimes he just needs to stop saying "let's add this idea I just thought of now, scrap EVERYTHING!" and let the damn game get done.

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Because the Zelda team is somehow treated like the crown jewel of Nintendo EAD, even though they are a bunch of slackers.

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There is no way a Zelda game takes that long to develop. It's simply franchise management. Nintendo wants certain properties to be long-term investments that will support consoles for many years. It's to keep the core concept fresh and anticipation levels high. The anticipation of certain games probably sells more consoles than the game itself.

Of course, that's a much more feasible plan when your present console is performing well.

Mythmaker1 said:

Because each Zelda is built, more or less, from scratch. New assets, new art-style, new controls, new engines, and so on. That takes a lot of time.

Many sequels these days are built using similar engines or recycled assets in order to save costs and time.

And even then, annualised sequels are done by different teams each year since these take roughly 3 years to make even with all the asset reuse.

4-5 years is actually the time any AAA game takes to be made nowadays; the more plot and the bigger the world and the more things you can do in that world the longer it takes.

id rather they take lke 4-5 years to make the game quality rather than fart one out every 2 years and rush it

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Because they always build from scratch, and I have NO IDEA why. Why can't we get another Majora's Mask situation? Especially with development costs rising, it makes no sense to reinvent the wheel every time and only release two games per decade.