In a 3-minute video posted on the Nintendo UK channel, development head Shinya Takahashi has sadly confirmed that Metroid Prime 4’s development is pulling a complete restart. This is due to the level of quality not meeting Nintendo’s extremely high standards.
A Tough Decision for the Sake of Quality
As Takahashi puts it: “The current development process [for Metroid Prime 4] has not quite 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.”
This standard of quality has led the development team to reprioritize and press the ‘Restart’ button altogether. Takahashi goes on to state that “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 re-examine 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.”
“We did not make this decision lightly. This change will mean restarting development from the beginning, so the completion of our 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 process. However, we continue developing the game so that when it is completed, it will stand shoulder to shoulder with the past Metroid Prime series. On behalf of Nintendo and Retro Studios, I sincerely appreciate your understanding. Thank you very much.”
Takahashi’s and Nintendo’s level of transparency shows their dedication to their fanbase, and Metroid Prime as a series. It’s frustrating that we won’t see another Nintendo FPS for a long time. However, few companies would take the time and resources to completely restart a game like this. Their level of care and expertise in the product will inevitably shine through in the final product.
On the bright side, we really knew nothing about Prime 4 up until this point. That means there’s not much to be disappointed about. In fact, hearing that long-time Nintendo second party developer Retro Studios is returning to Metroid Prime is incredibly exciting. Their brilliance in level and world design has been spectacular. Their game development mastery is evident in the Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country franchises. They’re an experienced development studio and haven’t released a critically-panned project since working with Nintendo. We expect nothing but the best from Retro.
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