Nintendo Shares Drop 6% Following ‘Legend of Zelda’ Delay

By Sam Nusey

TOKYO (Reuters) – Shares of Nintendo Co fell 6% in Tokyo trading after the Kyoto-based games company said it was pushing back the release of the highly anticipated sequel to ‘Legend of Zelda: Breath of Life’. the Wild” in the spring of 2023 from this year’s planned start.

The tumble comes after Nintendo shares gained 25% year-to-date to Tuesday’s close, allaying concerns that the hit Switch console could have peaked after a hardware refresh in October and the launch of… a critically acclaimed “Pokemon” title in January.

“In order to make the experience of this game something special, the entire development team continues to work diligently, so please wait a little longer,” Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma said in a post. video posted on Twitter.

The original “Breath of the Wild” was itself delayed, becoming a Switch launch game in 2017 and selling over 25 million units.

The widely emulated action-adventure has been praised for its open-world gameplay. Nintendo launched a hack-and-slash spin-off, “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity,” in 2020.

Nintendo is gearing up to launch the as-yet-untitled sequel to Zelda in an industry that has recently seen the launch of adventure games “Elden Ring” from Kadokawa and Bandai Namco and “Horizon Forbidden West” from Sony.

Despite Zelda’s delay, Nintendo has a solid pipeline for 2022, with ink-shooter “Splatoon 3” slated for this summer and two more Pokemon titles slated to launch later in the year.

“If there’s a year Nintendo can afford to shut out Zelda, it’s this year,” said Serkan Toto, founder of consulting firm Kantan Games.

“The exercise hasn’t even started yet and they’ve allotted all these potential hit titles,” he added.

In-house games accounted for 84% of Nintendo software sales in the third quarter ending December. The Switch console has an install base of over 100 million units with over 750 million software units sold.

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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