Metroid Prime 4, a sequel to Nintendo's iconic sci-fi series set to release on Switch, is "restarting" development with Retro Studios, the team behind the previous Metroid Prime games. Nintendo's Senior Managing Executive Officer Shinya Takahashi made the announcement today in a surprising video on the company's official YouTube channel. The restart, of course, will result in a significant delay.
"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 said. "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' expectation. 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."
Metroid Prime 4 was announced in 2017, but Nintendo never gave it a release date. The news just makes it clear that it's going to take even longer than we expected.
I love the Metroid games, both the 2D versions and Retro Studios' 3D, first person spin on it during the GameCube era (I'd rather forget Team Ninja's take on the series, Metroid: Other M ). So I would argue that this isn't all bad news. Prior to today's announcement, Nintendo said that Metroid Prime 4 was being developed by Kensuke Tanabe, who produced the previous Prime games, and a new, unknown team. That clearly hasn't worked out, so today Nintendo announced that Tanabe is teaming up with Retro Studios again to restart development on Metroid Prime 4.
The gist of Takahashi's statement is that Nintendo would rather delay the game and get it right, rather than push something out that would disappoint fans of the series. The delay clearly shows that whatever Nintendo was doing wasn't working, but the fact that it cares enough to address this in a dedicated video shows the company wants to get it right, and that is a good sign.