Eiji Aonuma has been a key member of the Zelda team since Ocarina of Time, and he’s been the franchise’s primary guiding force for over a decade now, serving as director and producer on many of the most popular games in the series. In the past he has spoken about wanting to branch out and develop other games, but the development of Zelda is an endless cycle with the next game often starting before the previous one has released. Aonuma was recently asked if he still wished to work on non-Zelda projects, and his answer was quite different from what he has said in the past.
Honestly, I’m getting to the point in my career where I have to think about what sorts of things I want to do and how much time I have left before retirement. I’ve certainly enjoyed all the time that I’ve spent working on Zelda games, even when it’s a struggle, I’ve absolutely enjoyed it. But I’m probably not too far from retirement. I should start to think about a successor, someone who can take over all of this. That’s a very important decision, but that’s one of the things that is bouncing around in my head on a daily basis as I work.
— Eiji Aonuma
It’s hard to imagine Zelda games of the future without Aonuma’s involvement, but eventually that day will come. Of course, “not too far from retirement” isn’t exactly indication that Zelda U will be his last game (after all, Shigeru Miyamoto has been saying similar things for years now), but hopefully Aonuma will be able to find a suitable heir to the Zelda throne when that time does come. Who would you like to see take over the series?
Source: Zelda Informer