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Zelda developers didn't copy Elden Ring as they were too busy with Tears of the Kingdom to play

"We did hear about it, though."

Tears of the Kingdom did not copy from Elden Ring because no one on the Zelda team had time to play it, despite hearing about FromSoftware's epic adventure.

In an interview with Dutch website NTL Nieuws, Eiji Aonuma and Hidemaro Fujibayashi - The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's producer and director respectively - shared more about the game's conception.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - DF Tech Review.

When asked if the team had taken any inspiration from Elden Ring, a game that was in part influenced by Tears of the Kingdom's predecessor Breath of the Wild, Fujibayashi had the following to say:

"Sorry, but we didn't really have the chance to play the game. We were too occupied with the development of Tears of the Kingdom, which resulted in us not really being able to play games. We did hear about it, though."

The director went on to say even if there had been time to play through Elden Ring, or any other game for that matter, the team "wouldn't reuse ideas from them" (as translated by Nintendo Everything).

"When we make a game, we come up with a general concept to come up with new ideas based on that," he stated.

Aonuma added he was "too proud" to try and put ideas from other games into his own creation.

"Of course there are situations where you make something that's similar to an existing game, but I would never try to put the ideas of others in my game... I'm always looking for original ideas."

He then spoke about the 3D jumping system in A Link Between Worlds, that made it look as though Link was "coming right at you".

"When I showed this to former Nintendo president [Satoru] Iwata, he said he 'didn't know this was possible'," Aonuma recalled. "I was very happy to hear that, because to me that's the essence of game development: figuring out things no one else has thought of."

2022 best games Elden Ring - your character on horseback in the bottom left looks out over a land of ruins towards a giant, glowing golden tree
Elden Ring was Eurogamer's Game of the Year in 2022.

On its launch in May, Tears of the Kingdom sold over 10m units worldwide in just three days, making it the fastest selling Zelda release to date.

Elden Ring, meanwhile, has seen its sales pass 20m since its release in February last year.

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Victoria Kennedy avatar

Victoria Kennedy

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Victoria developed a deep love for video games watching her brothers barrel their way through Goldeneye 007. She will unashamedly spout forth all sorts of niche Zelda lore to anyone who will listen (and even at times to those who won't), and makes the best pancakes you have ever seen.