Development on the upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusive Metroid Prime 4 is being taken back to square one. Nearly all previous work completed on the game has been scrapped, which means we definitely won’t be seeing it this year.
In an official development update provided by Senior Managing Executive Officer Shinya Takahashi, we learned why we haven’t seen anything of the anticipated title since it was announced at E3 2017.
Takahasi revealed that the “current development progress has not reached the standards we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series.” Retro Studios, the team behind the first three Prime games have been enlisted to work on rebuilding Prime 4 from scratch.
We decided to have the producer, Kensuke Tanabe, work in trust and collaboration with the studio that developed the original Metroid Prime series, Retro Studios in the United States. By collaborating and developing with Retro Studios, we believe we can make this game something that will meet our fans’ expectations.
This was, according to Takahsi, not a decision that Nintendo made lightly. Understandable, given that Metroid Prime 4 would have been a major release for the company in 2019/2020. With development going back to “essentially the beginning”, there’s no telling when we’ll finally see the game, but it probably won’t be for a long while now.
Metroid Prime 4 was originally in the works with a “talented new development team” working under Kensuke Tanabe, the longtime producer of the Prime series.
Regardless of your opinion on the games they make, Nintendo do have a reputation for releasing highly polished games, and it’s a rep they take very seriously. If Metroid Prime 4 wasn’t up to snuff, we’ll just have to be a little more patient.
After all, we’ve already waited 12 years for a new Metroid Prime. What’s a few more years between friends?
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.