The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was an absolutely system seller for the Nintendo Switch and a transformative installment in the series with open-world gaming that was unlike anything that Zelda fans had experienced before.
It's been almost exactly three and a half years since the release of Breath of the Wild and, according to a new leak from French retailer WT&T, a sequel may finally arrive before the end of the year.
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WT&T accidentally posted a listing for a Breath of the Wild 2 Collector's Edition with a release date of December 31, 2020. Naturally, the listing has already been pulled. There are at least a couple of problems with this leak, but before you dismiss it, there is some precedence for WT&T identifying a release date in advance.
The previous example was with the Nintendo Switch port for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt last year, so it is plausible that the retailer at least knows the game is coming.
Will we get a Breath of the Wild sequel this year?
Now, addressing the issues with the listing; the game is almost certainly not going to be called Breath of the Wild 2. This style of naming is not something that Nintendo has traditionally done with the Zelda franchise with the lone example going all the way back to the original Nintendo Entertainment System days with Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. With that said, it is obviously a reasonable placeholder and not out of the question that a retailer would use that at this stage.
The second problem is the date; there is no chance that the game will launch on New Year's Eve and December, in general, is typically not when you would expect to see such a highly anticipated game launch. Again, this would lead us to believe that it was merely a placeholder with the actual release date still uncertain.
With those caveats out of the way, we still think that a Breath of the Wild sequel arriving this year is entirely probable. It's Nintendo's best weapon against the impending launch of the Xbox Series X and PS5 with a new Nintendo Switch likely still quite a ways off.
Nintendo has rarely allowed four years to pass between Zelda games and coming off the success of Breath of the Wild, it would be shocking to see that change now. It's possible that the Covid-19 pandemic caused some delays, but it will be a shock if we hit the 4th anniversary of Breath of the Wild's release on March 7, 2021, without a sequel available for purchase.