The reason? Horse riding.
Believe it or not, there was meant to be a sequel The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, the awesome cel-shaded adventure that debuted on the GameCube and was recently re-released for the Wii U as Wind Waker HD. As per an interview with artist Satoru Takizawa, Nintendo has begun “the initial steps towards creating Wind Waker 2…However, demand for a more Ocarina-like game was growing by the day.”
That isn’t what led to the sequel’s cancellation, however. Instead, the team wanted to focus more on land-based gameplay (and when you look at the criticism for the sailing in Wind Waker, it’s not hard to see why).
“Wind Waker 2 would have taken place in a more land-based setting, rather than on the sea, so that we could have Link gallop across the land on a horse. But Link’s proportions in Wind Waker weren’t very well suited for riding on horseback; he was too short, and an adult version of Toon Link did not seem appropriate either. High-budget live-action fantasy movies were also huge at the time, so with all things considered, we decided to have at it [and switch to Twilight Princess].”
The Legend of Zelda is still doing pretty well as a series with the next sequel Breath of the Wild out in 2017 for Wii U and Switch.