Xenoblade developer Monolith Soft has begun recruiting staff to work on a new Zelda game.

While Monolith's headquarters are in Tokyo, the company's Kyoto team has become known for its work as a Nintendo support studio, and is closely allied with the Zelda series.

In fact, Monolith has acted as co-developer for the last three major Zelda releases: 2011's Skyward Sword, 2013's A Link Between Worlds, and 2017's Breath of the Wild.

On Breath of the Wild, Monolith's focus was helping create some of the game's vast landscape. For this new untitled Zelda project, it seems the developer will be taking on an even larger role.

Job vacancies list spots for artists (modelling, animation, effects), programmers (character control, environmental maintenance, system and framework programmers) and planners (actions, level designers, quests).

One design role is listed as a "designer for main character", alongside other jobs for a concept artist, character modeller, map modeller, in-game animator and more.

Nintendo has noted Monolith Soft's role as co-developer before, but this open recruitment drive is unprecedented - as is the casual confirmation, unsurprising as it may be, the next major Zelda game is in the works.

Fans have noted with curiosity the artwork on Monolith's Zelda job page includes grainy versions of the Hyrule crest with the symbols of its three goddesses - Din, Nayru and Farore - embedded within it. Another image mysteriously includes the Gate of Time used within Skyward Sword to zip between time periods.

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Skyward Sword's Gate of Time.

With a gorgeous-looking version of Game Boy classic Link's Awakening due for Nintendo Switch before 2019's end, Nintendo seems set for a Zelda game this year. Is 2020 too early for a Breath of the Wild follow-up? I'm popping through the Gate of Time now to see.

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Tom Phillips

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