The next Legend of Zelda game, the first original entry on Wii U, was first officially acknowledged as being in development during a Nintendo Direct on January 23, 2013. Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma talked briefly about the design approach to this new game. They want to address key issues brought up by media and fans alike over the years.
The game's teaser trailer, which debuted at E3 2014, said the game would see release in 2015 which was reaffirmed during a live gameplay demo during The Game Awards in December of the same year. However, on March 27 2015, Nintendo released a video statement from producer Eiji Aonuma explaining the team has discovered so many new ideas that they don't want to force themselves to adhere to a strict schedule and thus would no longer make hitting 2015 a main priority as well as forgo a showing of the title at E3 2015.
Aonuma has stated in numerous interviews that he and the team behind the game are putting emphasis in "rethink[ing] the conventions of Zelda." In the January 2013 Nintendo Direct specifically, Aonuma called out the linear story progression and single-player-only gameplay in particular as being ripe for a fresh approach. The team is "setting aside" these conventions and wants to go "back to basics" to create a "reborn" Zelda game for Wii U. Aonuma also mentioned they were already trying to do this a bit with Skyward Sword but were unable to circumvent the linear design of the game at the time.
At E3 2013, Aonuma mentioned that part of the reason work was done to port The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker to the Wii U was to use the game as a practice run and gain experience in HD game development. Nintendo considered showing the new Wii U Zelda game at E3, but chose to wait and continued development before unveiling it a year later.
The game was finally revealed at E3 2014 during Nintendo's Digital Event. Aonuma introduced the game by explaining their goal to build a modern Zelda title with a completely open world inspired by the nature of the original The Legend of Zelda, discarding the more restrictive hub world nature of games such as Ocarina of Time. The goal is to allow players to explore the world and to approach aspects such as dungeons from multiple angles. The puzzles become figuring out how to get where players want to go and what to do once they get there.
In the debut teaser footage, emphasis is first placed upon the land of Hyrule as it exists in the new game, showing off the vast depth of the landscape. Aonuma pointed out the mountains in the distant background, and stated that the player could travel to and traverse them, if they so choose. Once the action of the trailer begins, it depicts Link, dressed in a blue tunic, riding a horse and coming across an enemy that attacks with beams of light. Link returns the attack with his bow.
Also at E3 2014, Aonuma was present at the show to discuss Hyrule Warriors; a collaboration between Nintendo and Koei Tecmo that serves as a crossover of the Dynasty Warriors gameplay format with the characters and world of The Legend of Zelda. In interviews, Aonuma has stated that his involvement in the development of Hyrule Warriors has informed and influenced his ideas of game design and certain ideas behind the new Legend of Zelda. In particular, he called out how in Dynasty Warriors, there are multiple regions on each map in which action is always occurring, regardless of the player's presence, and the flow of the stage changes depending on the player's choice on how to proceed. How Aonuma's experience and influences in working with the Hyrule Warriors team may affect the course of this new Legend of Zelda is unclear.