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Zelda: Breath of the Wild needs to sell 2m copies to profit

Setting sales.

Nintendo needs to shift 2m copies of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to recoup the game's huge development costs.

The upcoming Zelda has been in development for more than five years, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto explained during a recent investor Q&A (thanks, Cheesemeister).

100 staff members are currently at work on the game, and more than 300 have contributed over the course of the project's life.

But development work on Zelda will also be applied to future, smaller projects, Nintendo planning and development boss Shinya Takahashi added.

Takahashi didn't go into specifics, but mentioned how Nintendo was working to reduce development costs as a whole by reusing resources such as game engines.

Breath of the Wild boasts a spectacular physics engine, for example, and asset streaming to allow its enormous open-world to continuously load in around you.

It's a firm bet Nintendo will use such technology again, although likely within smaller projects with shorter development cycles.

Breath of the Wild is due to launch early next year for both Wii U and Nintendo's new NX console, which is slated for release in March 2017.

The game is being developed simultaneously for the aging Wii U and will presumably be an NX launch title to drive hardware sales.

2m sales is no small number, especially for a Wii U title, but the positive reception gained at E3 stands Nintendo in good stead. For comparison, fellow Wii U exclusives Super Mario Maker and Splatoon have sold 3.5m and 4.2m respectively. Mario Kart 8, the Wii U's best-selling game, has shifted 7.5m copies.

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