Nintendo surprised Mario fans during the Wii U era with Super Mario Maker, a game that put the power of level creation into the player’s hands. Instead of running through levels hand-crafted by Nintendo’s development team, the Big N gave players the keys to the kingdom and let them create whatever kind of platforming levels they could dream up. The idea turned out to be such a hit that the series expanded to the 3DS, and then saw a follow-up on the Switch.
Ever since that series released, Nintendo fans have been hoping Nintendo would do the same with The Legend of Zelda franchise. There have actually been a few indie-developed games that are pretty much a Zelda Maker in everything but name. They allow players to craft their own puzzle-filled dungeons, filling them with devious traps and unique solutions.
Indie games are fantastic, but what about an actual Zelda Maker from Nintendo? In an interview with Polygon, Nintendo’s Eiji Aonuma pretty much flat-out says Nintendo won’t be heading in that direction.
When we’re creating games like Tears of the Kingdom, I think it’s important that we don’t make creativity a requirement. Instead we put things into the game that encourage people to be creative, and give them the opportunity to be creative, without forcing them to. There are people who want the ability to create from scratch, but that’s not everyone. But I think everyone delights in the discovery of finding your own way through a game, and that is something we tried to make sure was included in Tears of the Kingdom; there isn’t one right way to play. If you are a creative person, you have the ability to go down that path. But that’s not what you have to do; you’re also able to proceed to the game in many other different ways. And so I don’t think that it would be a good fit for The Legend of Zelda to necessarily require people to build things from scratch and force them to be creative.