In an interview with IGN, Shigeru Miyamoto explained by Nintendo was hesitant to call The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild an open-world game.
“I think within the game industry or the tech industry, there’s a tendency to want to name everything. But I think it is important for what we do that we don’t want to be dependent or swayed by the technology and what’s available now. We want to use the technology and the techniques that are available to make what we want to make. What’s important is to really express how we use that to make our experience unique. We didn’t want to just make a game where you can do anything, but we wanted to make sure that we make a game where the player is able to do anything, but it’s also a form of entertainment. It’s fun to do all of those things. That’s why we felt that coming up with a name that we created would be best. The term ‘Open Air’ is a result of that.”
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the world’s first “Open Air” game, will launch for both the Wii U and the NX sometime in 2017.