This morning Nintendo announced that it is starting completely over on Metroid Prime 4. The game was reportedly not up to Nintendo’s standards, and so it has partnered with Retro Studios, who developed the original Metroid Prime, and is starting from scratch on the project.
This means that we’re not going to see anything from, or hear anything about Metroid Prime 4 for a long time. What was perhaps going to be a 2019 title will now very likely be a 2021 title. There’s a chance that, if everything goes smoothly, we might see the game launch during the 2020 holidays, but we wouldn’t hold our breath.
Here’s a full transcript of Takahashi-san’s message:
“I am Shinya Takahashi, and I’m responsible for development at Nintendo. Thank you so much for playing Nintendo games. I wanted to speak with you today to give you an update on Metroid Prime 4, the newest title in the Metroid Prime series.
“We deeply understand the high anticipation that Metroid Prime series fans have for this title. We have felt it especially from the passionate words from fans we heard when we first announced this title at E3 the year before last.
“Ever since the announcement, we have not been able to give you an update, but as a result of the continuing development since that time, 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.
“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. 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.
“From this perspective, we have determined that the current development status of the game is very challenged, and we had to make a difficult decision as a development team. 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 in the United States, and restart development from the beginning.
“By collaborating and developing with Retro Studios, we believe we can make this game something that will meet our fans’ expectations. 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 recognize that this delay will come as a disappointment to the many fans who have been looking forward to the launch of Metroid Prime 4. I’d like to extend my deepest, heart-felt apologies to everyone that the launch will be delayed. It will be a long road until the next time we will be able to update you on the development progress, and development will be extensive. However, we will continue developing the game so that when it is completed, it will stand shoulder to shoulder with the past Metroid Prime series titles.
“On behalf of Nintendo and Retro Studios, I sincerely appreciate your understanding.
“Thank you very much.”