Coming from a Verge interview with Reggie Fils-Aime...
“We think we’ve struck a chord and we’ve struck a chord with what is a very important franchise for us. A franchise that is going to be key to our long-term success.
The Zelda formula is well known. You continue down a path, you battle in a dungeon, you get an item, you’re going to need that item for the next dungeon, and so forth. We think that for today’s player... that formula potentially needed to be upended — that we needed to introduce new elements in order to bring new players in. But we needed to do it thoughtfully in order to maintain the current player."
Reggie also talked about the differences the East and West markets
"Behaviorally, the Japanese home market and the West, aren’t so different that the tastes are fundamentally polar. A great example of this is Splatoon. [An online multiplayer shooter is] something that you would associate with the West, and yet in Japan the amount of players playing Splatoon, the amount of games sold relative to the install base of Wii U, is better than the US performance. It all comes down to this: is it fun? Is it compelling? Is it unique? Does it provide something to the player that they really relate to?"