Nintendo has rebooted Metroid Prime 4 and placed series developer Retro Studios in charge of the title’s ongoing development.
“The current development status is very challenged, and we had to make a difficult decision as a development team,” Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi said in a stunning new video announcement. “We did not make this decision lightly. This change will essentially mean restarting development from the beginning, so the completion of the game will be delayed from our initial internal plan…We strongly recognise that this delay will come as a disappointment to the many fans who have been looking forward to the launch of Metroid Prime 4.”
Why would Nintendo just restart the development of one of its most anticipated new games? The company didn’t share all of the details, but it indicated during the video announcement that the game just wasn’t living up to the expectations it had set for this franchise. What’s fascinating about this is that Nintendo never confirmed who was working on Metroid Prime 4 prior to this recent announcement. However, it was widely speculated that Bandai Namco had been given the task.
While that does mean that Metroid Prime 4 is going to be delayed even further, it’s actually kind of hard to not see this as somewhat encouraging news. Developer Retro Studios (Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze) was responsible for the first three Metroid Prime games. The studio has proven that it understands what makes this series special and what makes Metroid Prime titles work. Many people hoped that Retro would be the developer to work on Metroid Prime 4 in the first place. While this delay is most certainly unfortunate, we’ve seen what happens when other studios get Metroid games wrong, and the results are not pretty.
The team that Retro has built around Metroid Prime 4 is pretty impressive, too. Former DICE art director Jhony Ljungstedt (Battlefield 5, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst) has joined former Halo lead character artist Kyle Helfey, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze lead designer Stephen Dupree. The team is led by original Metroid Prime trilogy producer Kensuke Tanabe.
While it might be a long time before we see Metroid Prime 4, here’s hoping that the game we get will be worth the wait. With that said, here’s everything that we know about Retro Studios’ Metroid Prime 4:
Metroid Prime 4 Release Date
There is currently no release date for Metroid Prime 4. Considering that all development progress made up until the point that Retro Studios took over has seemingly been scrapped, it could be quite a while until we actually see this game. That takes Metroid Prime 4‘s likely release date from “possibly in 2019” to most likely not before 2021.
Metroid Prime 4 Trailer
It’s a little disheartening to look back on now given the massive delay, but this is the Metroid Prime 4 teaser showcased at E3 2017.
That trailer still isn’t much, but it’s likely the most that we’re going to see from this game in quite some time.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.