Speaking with Nintendo Life Hyrule Warriors producers related that the visionary behind the franchise, Shigeru Miyamoto, stepped in to place emphasis on action-oriented gameplay to set the title outside of The Legend of Zelda timeline.
In fact, Koei Tecmo producer Yosuke Hayashi likened the man's involvement to "upending the tea table" and said that Miyamoto wanted to keep Hyrule Warriors closer to Dynasty Warriors:
This relates a bit to when Mr. Miyamoto stepped in to overturn the tea table. It was really trying to strike that balance of making a game that Zelda fans will enjoy that is different from a typical Zelda game, that has enough elements that people will enjoy but also not losing Zelda fans. We ourselves are Zelda fans as well, so we had to ask ourselves the questions of what is it that makes a Zelda game, and how many of those elements do we need to include. Up until the very end, we kept adding different elements to the game until we struck a balance that we were happy with.
Hayashi also said that the team has tried to keep an eye on elements of Zelda game design throughout the development process, "like the first scene where you come upon a treasure box and you have Link, or whoever, lifting the item up from the treasure box. But we realized we needed more than just that, so we ended up adding more and more aspects that were Zelda-esque—for example, the sound effects and animations that people are familiar with from the franchise."