Open world expertise.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks to be a gorgeous, lush, fully realized open world. And while the series has always been known for having vast worlds for players to explore, this is the first time that Nintendo is attempting to tackle a modern open world.
So, to help them out with this, they enlisted the help of Monolith Soft, the developers of Xenoblade and Xenoblade X, who have, with both games, already developed modern open world games before. Monolith Soft had already previously helped Nintendo with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. However, speaking in an interview with Gamekult (via Siliconera), Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma explained how Monolith Soft were recruited for their expertise with open world games this time around.
“On Skyward Sword, Monolith had mainly helped us on graphics design and other artistic elements. Even though we could have asked them for help on the technical side, we realized their way of making games was completely different from ours and we didn’t have much to learn from them on this installment, since we were almost doing two different jobs. On the other hand, for Breath of the Wild, we’ve been assisted by level designers used to large game areas, in order to make topographic arrangements.”
Considering how rich and well realized the open worlds of Xenoblade and Xenoblade X were, this only portends good news for Breath of the Wild.