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It’s no secret that game developers – or any creatives – keep tabs on the competition and often get inspired by products from others. FromSoftware, the studio behind 2022’s mega hit Elden Ring, very openly complimented The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and said it had given them some inspiration for their own open-world RPG, which won unprecedented accolades.

It seems like Nintendo’s Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the game director for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, prefers a more isolated perspective.

In an interview given to Dutch site RTL Nieuws (spotted by Nintendo Everything), the developer explained that he and the team “didn’t really get a chance to play the game. We were too busy developing Tears of the Kingdom, so we couldn’t really play the game.” Besides, he continued, “even if we had time to play games, we wouldn’t reuse ideas from that. When we make a game, we come up with a general concept and come up with new ideas based on that.”

That’s not to say that the team lives in a creative vacuum and Eiji Aonuma, the Zelda series’ producer, walked his colleague’s statement back a little bit, saying that of course “there are situations where you make something similar to an existing game.” Pride, though, is hindering him from really copying other people’s ideas, he continued. “I always look for original ideas,” Aonuma said. “To me, that’s the core of video game development: figuring out things that on one else has thought of.”

The two developers went on to say that they never felt trapped by having to make more Zelda games, viewing Link as their own child after a while. In a funny tidbit, Aonuma said that his kids don’t really like to give him their opinion on his games, brushing him off whenever he tries to ask questions.

Let’s hope Aonuma feeds his kids better than Link, who weighs just as much as ten apples, despite their resistance to assisting him. If you need assistance navigating the epic that is TotK, check out our complete walkthrough of the game with all the guides and tips you’ll need.