In a startling announcement, Nintendo Senior Managing Executive Officer Shinya Takahashi delivered a 3-minute speech on Nintendo’s official YouTube account, announcing a major change in development for Metroid Prime 4. A simple delay would have been unnecessary for a game without a release date. Instead Takahashi announced that production on Metroid Prime 4 is being completely rebooted with an entirely new studio.
“We must let you know that the current development progress has not reached the standards we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series,” says Takahashi. “We have decided to reexamine the development structure itself and change it.”
“Specifically we have decided to have the Producer, Kensuke Tanabe, work in trust and collaboration with the studio that developed the original Metroid Prime series, Retro Studios, and restart development from the beginning.”
Nintendo originally announced Metroid Prime 4 with a brief teaser that showed the logo back in E3 2017. From there we’ve had no news about the long-awaited sequel. It’s difficult to ascertain how far along it was, or what exactly was wrong with it.
Obviously this new development will delay Metroid Prime 4’s launch into most likely 2020 at the earliest. It’s surprising for the normally secretive publisher to provide such an open and honest statement, though comments have been disabled on the official YouTube video.
The Metroid Prime series made waves back in the GameCube era in the early 2000s, transforming the classic 2D sci-fi action-platformer series into a first-person shooter, and setting the story early in Samus’ career. The result was a big success for Nintendo. The Prime series would spawn two sequels, with the last one arriving in 2007.
The Metroid series has since floundered, resulting mostly in poor spin-offs (or a solid remake in Metroid: Samus Returns) and leaving Metroid fans without a home console title since 2010.
The delay is a bummer but will hopefully lead to a fantastic new Metroid game that will be worth the wait.