By Sam Nussey
TOKYO (Reuters) — Nintendo Co shares slumped 5% in early Tokyo trading after the Kyoto-based gaming firm said it was pushing back the release of the hotly awaited sequel to «Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild» to spring 2023 from this year’s planned debut.
The fall comes after Nintendo’s shares had gained 25% year-to-date at Tuesday’s close, shaking off concerns that the hit Switch console might have peaked following a hardware refresh in October, and the launch of a critically acclaimed «Pokemon» title in January.
«In order to make this game’s experience something special, the entire development team is continuing to work diligently so please wait a little longer,» Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma said in a video posted to Twitter.
The original «Breath of the Wild» was a Switch launch game in 2017 and has sold more than 25 million units.
The widely emulated title was praised for its open world gameplay. Nintendo launched a spin-off, «Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity», in 2020.
(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)