The special Nintendo Direct for E3 2019 happened earlier today, and it brought with it a list of great surprises, such as a direct sequel to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a release date and first look at Luigi’s Mansion 3, and the surprise appearance of the Microsoft-owned Banjo-Kazooie coming to Smash Bros Ultimate. But there were also several major games that made no appearance at all, including the eagerly-anticipated Metroid Prime 4. Why was Metroid Prime 4 missing from the Nintendo E3 direct conference?
The answer is painful, but straightforward: Metroid Prime 4 is simply not ready to be shown. This may come as a surprise, considering the game was announced exactly two years ago at E3 2017.
While that was only a logo confirming the game’s existence, it seemed like Nintendo was gearing up to do a proper reveal, or at least release a trailer, but E3 2018 came and went without any new information about the game. Here we are at E3 2019 now, and once again Metroid Prime 4, undoubtedly a game that many Switch owners are greatly anticipating, is a no-show.
While Nintendo is usually tight-lipped about any development issues, or just the development of any game its making, the company has been surprisingly candid about how Metroid Prime 4 is going. While initially, it was in development at Bandai Namco, who also helped Nintendo make Smash Bros Ultimate, that apparently wasn’t going well and development was scrapped and restarted. The good news is that Metroid Prime 4 is now in the capable hands of Retro Studios, the developer behind the last three Primes.
The bad news, however, is this was only announced in January this year, so if development of Metroid Prime 4 has really only just begun again, we’re in for a long wait before we get to play it… and it’s likely we won’t be seeing it at E3 2020, either.