GameStop lists Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for launch in early 2017

Nintendo never confirmed Zelda's status as a launch game, a slot that might be filled by a 3D Mario action title.

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In the face of rumors suggesting The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been delayed, GameStop executives announced during today's earnings report that it's gearing up for a first-quarter release (via GameSpot).

GameStop showed a slide titled "Focused Marketing Calendar" that listed Zelda, Mass Effect Andromeda, and Injustice 2 in the "1Q17" (first quarter 2017) slot.

That could mean they'll prepare to start marketing efforts at that time, or it could indicate they still expect Zelda to launch within the January-March timeframe.

Injustice 2's placement in that same window could be a discrepancy. While NetherRealm has yet to announce a firm launch date for the superhero-themed fighter, the studio has a track record of shipping new games in April: Mortal Kombat 9 released in April 2011, followed by Injustice in April 2013 and Mortal Kombat X in April 2015.

Contrary to popular belief, Nintendo never announced The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a Switch launch title; only that the game would release for Switch and Wii U sometime in 2017.

Eurogamer was the first outlet to report that Zelda would not ship alongside Switch when it releases in March, ostensibly due to needing more time to localize the game for a worldwide release. In that same report, Eurogamer reports reveal they've heard whispers of a new Mario title hitting shelves day and date with the Switch.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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