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Nintendo is restarting ‘Metroid Prime 4’ development with Retro Studios

Development Update on Metroid Prime 4 for Nintendo Switch

Since Metroid Prime 4 was announced at E3 2017, we’ve heard very little about the first-person science-fiction adventure. Despite Nintendo saying the game was “progressing well” last summer, it appears that is no longer the case, as development has been restarted at Retro Studios.

In a video published on Nintendo’s YouTube channel, senior managing executive officer Shinya Takahashi explained that Metroid Prime 4‘s quality had not been living up to the company’s high expectations thus far.

“Nintendo always strives for the highest quality in our games and in the development phase we challenge ourselves and confront whether the game is living up to that quality on a daily basis,” Takahashi added. “If we’re not satisfied with the quality, we aren’t able to deliver it to our customers with confidence and the game will not live up to our fans expectations.”

Because of this, essentially all work on Metroid Prime 4 has been scrapped, and the development process is starting over with Retro Studios now at the helm. Retro Studios previously developed the three original Metroid Prime games, and has also worked on both recent Donkey Kong Country titles.

“By collaborating and developing with Retro Studios, we believe we can make this game something that will meet our fans’ expectations,” Takahashi said.

He also stressed that it would be “a long road” before Nintendo is ready to update fans on the game’s status again, so we are unlikely to hear anything new at E3 this year.

With this delay, it’s unlikely Metroid Prime 4 will release for several more years. The last game in the series to release was Metroid: Samus Returns for 3DS in 2017. A side-scrolling game reminiscent of the original titles — and based on Metroid II — it has not been ported to the Switch yet.

Back in 2018, it was reported that Bandai Namco was the primary developer behind Metroid Prime 4, and that former Star Wars 1313 developers from LucasArts Singapore would be working on the project. Nintendo had an extensive relationship with Bandai Namco already, with the company assisting in developing multiple Super Smash Bros. games, including the acclaimed Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Switch.

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