Nintendo released a video today explaining that development is restarting on Metroid Prime 4 for the Switch. Retro Studios, the Austin, Texas-based company that created the original Metroid Prime trilogy, is now working with Nintendo on the rebooted project.
Switch has been a huge sales success for Nintendo, and high-quality first-party games from established franchises like Mario, Zelda, and Super Smash Bros. has been a big key to the console’s success. Metroid Prime 4 could be another first-party hit that drives system sales, so the decision to restart development (which will cost Nintendo extra money and delay the game’s release for years) could not have been an easy one.
The video, which you can watch above, has Nintendo senior managing executive officer Shinya Takahashi explain that Metroid Prime 4 was not living up to the quality of its predecessors. In the frank video, Takahashi explains that the difficult decision to restart development, now with Retro Studios onboard, will hopefully lead to something that can meet fans’ expectations.
Nintendo announced Metroid Prime 4 during a video presentation at E3 2017. We only saw the game’s logo. Nintendo has never shown more of the game since then, and now we know why. It wasn’t shaping up to meet Nintendo’s standards.
The first Metroid Prime came out for the GameCube in 2002. It brought the exploration-based series into a 3D world for the first time, and it remains one of Nintendo’s most acclaimed games. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption came out for the Wii in 2007.
Since then, Retro Studios has worked on the Donkey Kong Country series. Its last game, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, came out for the Wii U in 2014. A Switch port of the 2D platformer released in 2018.