‘Metroid Prime 4’ development restarts after two years

Metroid Prime 4 just hit quite the development speed bump.

Development on Metroid Prime 4 for Nintendo Switch has been restarted about a year and a half after the game was first revealed by Nintendo, Nintendo’s head of development Shinya Takahashi announced in a video Friday. The game is now in the hands of Retro Studios and probably won’t be coming out in the next year or two as fans had hoped.

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Takahashi said that development on Metroid Prime 4 was not meeting Nintendo’s standards, and so instead of delivering a product that the company wasn’t proud of, they are restarting development with producer Kensuke Tanabe and developer Retro Studios.

Retro Studios is the same studio that created the original Metroid Prime trilogy, although Metroid Prime 3 released in 2007 and much of the studio has changed in the past 12 years. Still, they’ve proven to be successful with another Nintendo franchise, developing the acclaimed Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze games in the interim.

The decision to restart development was not made lightly by Nintendo, and Takahashi acknowledged that they understand if some fans are disappointed.

“We did not make this decision lightly,” Takahashi said. “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.”

Before this announcement, Nintendo had only showed the logo of Metroid Prime 4 at E3 in 2017 with no other updates since.

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