If you've been putting a lot of your eggs of hope in the basket of a March release for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you may be putting your poultry in the wrong pannier. New rumors are swirling that the upcoming open-world game may miss the March window, and thus miss the Nintendo Switch's launch.
Industry insider Emily Rogers posted up the rumor over on the Arcade Girl 64 website, where she gives a disclaimer that the information regarding Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is all rumor for now. However, she's been hearing rumblings from localizers that the game is a heck of a lot larger than what they originally anticipated and due to its size, the scope of the text it covers and the NPCs that players will be interacting with throughout the game.
The game is so big, in fact, that one person relayed to Rogers that the game is "very ambitious" and may even be "too much". That's probably the first time someone has described a game as having "too much" content. In fact, during the last two generations a lot of games that seemed to promise a lot have come up quite short in the content department, with many games being very shallow or having large pretty worlds with very little interaction with them, sort of like Saints Row IV or The Order 1886.
In this case, if what Rogers is saying is true then The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be one mammoth experience to take on. Part of the problem isn't just the localizing, though, it's also the testing.
According to Rogers they may not likely finish localizing the game until the very end of December. In order for the game to hit that March release date they would have needed to wrap up localization by September... and no later than October. Why? According to Rogers, Nintendo is one of the few developers and publishers who puts quality before release dates. While a bunch of games release now that are broken out of the box or have missing features because they needed more testing, like Watch Dogs 2 and the bugged seamless multiplayer feature (which forced reviews for the game to be delayed), Nintendo wants to get the game right the first time out.
Due to Nintendo's diligence to quality (and this has been an earmark trait since the 1980s when they revived the gaming industry after the crash and restored prestige to the industry with their "Seal of Quality"), they apparently plan on spending four-to-six months in testing and quality assurance. It's rare a game gets that kind of treatment these days, but companies like Nintendo and Rockstar seem to maintain a certain level of quality for their games by testing them thoroughly. However, due to the lengthy testing it might actually mean that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will miss the March window for the Nintendo Switch.
This puts Nintendo in a bit of a pickle because launching a major console without a killer app can be a death knell, like what happened with the Wii U. Then again, the Xbox 360 launched without a next-gen killer app and didn't get one until a year later in the form of Gears of War and it turned out just fine. So I guess Nintendo may be gambling with launching the Switch without Breath of the Wild, but at the same time they could forfeit their testing by a few months to ensure it hits the March release, but that's a whole other gamble in itself... assuming the rumors about localization is true.