Metroid Prime 4 development restarted by Nintendo and Retro Studios

Development on Metroid Prime 4 has been restarted by Nintendo, with Retro Studios now at the helm of the upcoming game. In a highly unorthodox move, Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi appeared in a development update video for the game on Nintendo’s YouTube channel, in which he expressed his “heartfelt apology” to fans of the series.

In the update, Takahashi explained that Metroid Prime 4 was not living up to the level of quality Nintendo had expected. The game was originally being developed by a brand new team under the leadership of producer Kensuke Tanabe, though development has now switched to Metroid Prime creator Retro Studios.

Takahashi said:

“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, although this is very regrettable — 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.”

As Takahashi explains, restarting development now means that Metroid Prime 4 will receive a hefty delay. With Nintendo seemingly throwing out the entirety of the previous build of the game in order to restart development from scratch, it’s unclear when the sequel will see the light of day.

Announced at E3 2017, there has been much speculation over the whereabouts of Metroid Prime 4. Many had predicted it would be shown during E3 2018, though it was notably absent from Nintendo’s presentation.

The development update can be viewed below: