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If you choose to copy something after it gets big, then you also have to take responsibility for doing so. It's also natural for people to be suspicious of you if you do so.
For instance, if a BotW-like look was something that any developer could have implemented at any time, and also artistically believed in it, it stands to reason we should have already seen various examples.
But there weren't that many games with a graphical look similar to BotW before it became popular. And soon after Nintendo popularaized the look, things like genshin impact and gods and monsters were revealed shortly after.
So logically, since it wasn't being done before something got popular and is after it became popular, it's safe to assume that the reason behind the choice isn't that the developers artistically believed in it all along, but are simply trying to take advantage of what's popular. (Unlike Nintendo, who chose to go with a distinct style that wasn't popular at the time because they believed in it.)
And obviously that's not a great look to have, so it's natural for people to call you out for it.
This isn't true with just BotW but anything that gets popular. (Fortnite's style, minecraft's style, apple design language, etc.)
The first popular instance may not be the origin of the idea, but the bandwagon of copycats after are almost certainly trying to take advantage of the situation rather than organically shaping their look and happening to end up with a dead ringer.
However, unlike Ubisoft who tried to pretend they weren't drawing heavy inspiration from BotW, at least this dev is being honest and owning the decision.