If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck; so says the famous “duck test.” But despite The Legend of the Zelda: Breath of the Wild looking and playing like an open world game, Nintendo seems to be adamant that it is not an open world game. Instead, the company has been referring to the upcoming Zelda title under the vague categorization of “open air adventure.” Speaking to IGN, Nintendo legend and series creator Shigeru Miyamoto discussed the distinction.
“I think within the game industry or the tech industry, there’s a tendency to want to name everything,” says Miyamoto, who wants to establish a new subgenre name for Nintendo’s next big game. When deciding what type of game breath of the wild is, Nintendo “felt that coming up with a name that [they] created would be best.”
“I think it’s important for what we do that we don’t want to be dependent or swayed by the technology and what’s available now. We want to use the technology and the techniques that are available to make what we want to make. What’s important is to really express how we use that to make our experience unique. We didn’t want to just make a game where you can do anything, but we wanted to make sure that we make a game where the player is able to do anything, but it’s also a form of entertainment. It’s fun to do all of those things.” — Shigeru Miyamoto
The term “open air” was actually coined by Nintendo of America’s Senior Product Marketing Manager Bill Trinen, who also has input as to why Nintendo believes
Breath of the Wild should not be considered an open world game:
“From my perspective, I look at a lot of open-world games, and the world is a setting for the story the developers want to tell in that space. I look at this game and I see a world that is fully integrated into the exploration and the adventure. It’s not just a world that you’re passing through. It’s sort of a world that you’re a part of. So much of the adventure and exploration is in this outdoor space, and the theme of wilderness collectively seemed like ‘Open Air’ was the right fit for it.” —
So, what do you think? Do you believe
Breath of the Wild is unique enough to be its own subgenre? Or do you think it’s just another unique open world experience and that this “open air” nonsense is just a bunch of pretentious PR speak? Let us know in the comments!