Metroid fans have had some ups and downs when it comes to Nintendo's haunting space-based series, but thankfully things finally seem to be looking relatively positive for everyone's favourite bounty hunter. After 2017's excellent remake of the Game Boy's Metroid II: The Return of Samus for the 3DS, we were then treated to a wonderful new entry to the series with Metroid Dread in 2019. Finally, Nintendo has seen fit to remaster one of the all-time greats in early 2023 with Metroid Prime Remastered.
Since the announcement of Metroid Prime 4 way back at E3 2017, fans have been salivating at the prospect of jumping into Samus' space suit again for a brand new follow-up to 2007's Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, but it's been a bumpy ride so far for the highly anticipated first-person sequel to Retro Studio's celebrated Metroid Prime Trilogy.
Below we've chronicled the ins and outs of Metroid Prime 4's story so far, including the game's announcement, its delay, Retro Studio's return and every detail that's been revealed about the upcoming Switch game to this point. We'll be updating this article as new details are revealed, so be sure to check back for all the latest Metroid Prime 4 information.
So, while we wait for more juicy deets, let's take a look at everything we know about Metroid Prime 4.
Metroid Prime 4 - The story so far...
We start three years ago. In a move that went against Nintendo's general rule of only discussing games releasing in the coming year, the company revealed a logo for Metroid Prime 4 way back at E3 2017, just three months after the release of Switch. Confirming that the game was in development, it soon came to light that Retro Studios, the development company who made the original trilogy of games on GameCube and Wii, was not involved with this new game (at that time).
Regardless of who was involved, the very existence of the game created ripples of excitement among series fans. The following February it was revealed that Bandai Namco Singapore was working with Nintendo on Metroid Prime 4. The company has co-developed (or assisted development of) several Nintendo games in the past including entries in the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. franchises, so it was hardly a surprise that Nintendo might turn to them for assistance with Metroid.
Come E3 time, Nintendo made it clear that Metroid Prime 4's announcement the previous year was "a departure from [its] usual approach" of focusing on "near-term stuff" and would not be appearing in E3 2018's Nintendo Direct broadcast.
Despite its no-show, Reggie reassured us in July that development of Metroid Prime 4 was "proceeding well" and clarified that its unusually early reveal was intended to reassure Metroid fans that, in addition to Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS, there was also a Metroid game in development for Switch; the 'new system'.
So, a year after the initial reveal we'd seen absolutely nothing more of Metroid Prime 4 beside a logo, but Reggie assured us all was well. A photo of the Nintendo of America president wearing a Metroid shirt sent the rumour mill into overdrive, but in November 2018 he once again assured fans that the game was well into development. We had nothing to worry about!...
Or so we thought. In a classic 'Please Understand' moment, an official statement and video apology from Nintendo confirmed that the entire project had been scrapped and would be restarted with the involvement of original Metroid Prime development studio, Retro. Shinya Takahashi, Senior Managing Executive Officer at Nintendo thanked fans for their excitement and support and explained that "the current development progress has not reached the standard we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series".
It was very disappointing news, to be sure, although the fact that Retro Studios was back in the frame helped mitigate ire from fans. Soon job listings started cropping up indicating that Retro would be starting from scratch rather than using any work already done by Bandai Namco. In June, Retro was still seeking an Art Director for the project, with ex-Halo character modeller Kyle Hefley reported to have joined the studio by October, and ex-DICE art director Jhony Ljungstedt moved from EA's studio to Retro - potentially working on Metroid Prime 4, although that remains unconfirmed.
A rumour that environmental work on the game might be outsourced to external providers in order to make up for 'lost time', coupled with the trickle of hiring news that leaked over the last couple of years, indicates that there's still a long way to go with development of Metroid Prime 4.
During its E3 2021 Nintendo Direct — the one where Metroid Dread was revealed — the company said it was still "working hard" on Prime 4, but didn't provide any further update.
What's been confirmed about Metroid Prime 4?
Very little at present — all we officially know is the name, but obviously that's subject to change (we wouldn't be surprised if a sneaky colon crept in).
Looking at the comings and goings of talent to the studio gives us an indication as to the staff involved on the project, but nothing has been confirmed. Approximately half of the development team who worked on the last entry in the proper Prime series are reportedly still at Retro Studios, with fewer than 10 of those having worked on the first Metroid Prime game — the main creatives and project leads left years ago (or have sadly passed away).
Of course, the delay has severely impacted the roll out of information. Nintendo is reluctant to discuss any project until it can deliver concrete details, footage and other information to its audience, and while the reveal of the in-development game was intended to placate Metroid fans wondering why Metroid: Samus Returns was on 3DS rather than Switch, that plan backfired somewhat with the delay resulting in radio silence. We know Metroid Prime 4 is coming, but the lack of information creates room for increased fan speculation.
On the plus side, however, the existence of both Metroid Dread and Metroid Prime Remastered has gone a long way to softening the blow to fans still eagerly awaiting news on Metroid Prime 4.
So, what are people speculating about Metroid Prime 4?
Well, arguably there's more speculation around what Nintendo will do to plug this Metroid 'gap' until Prime 4 arrives. With Retro quite rightfully taking its time with the Switch sequel, Nintendo has a couple of excellent options to help fans pass the time.
Leak group LeakyPandy believed that both a Super Metroid remake and an HD update of Wii's Metroid Prime Trilogy are in development, in addition to Metroid Prime 4, although LeakyPanda's track record is patchy. As it turns out, of course, we do now have a remaster of the original Metroid Prime on the switch, but its direct sequels are still very much in question at the time of writing.
What do we think? Well, a Super Metroid remake would be brilliant — it is, after all, one of the greatest video games ever made — but the existence of Metroid Dread makes it perhaps less likely in the short term. And if we're honest, we can't think of a game that requires a remake less than Super Metroid. The SNES original is a classic which holds up marvellously, and it's already available on Switch as part of the Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Don't get us wrong — we'd love to see it, but a Switch port of 3DS' Metroid: Samus Returns arguably makes more sense.
If Nintendo wants to whet the appetite of Metroid fans and potentially onboard new fans who may have missed the original trilogy across GameCube and Wii, Metroid Prime Trilogy HD is the most obvious and plausible option. Originally released on Wii and combining all three Metroid Prime games in one handy package, it introduced motion controls from Metroid Prime 3: Corruption into the two previous entries and, a few missing graphical effects aside, is arguably the best way to play the games today.
Obviously, it's highly unlikely at this stage that Nintendo will release the trilogy in one handy package given that we now have Metroid Prime Remastered as its own standalone release, but the company could still concievably release the direct sequels later down the line, too.
Having the entire series on Switch would be a dream come true for many fans, and alongside Metroid Dread it would act as a perfect apology to desperate fans following the delay of Metroid Prime 4. Getting all three Prime games on Switch seems like an open goal, but will Nintendo tap it in? Fingers crossed.
When will Metroid Prime 4 be released?
Well, video games take a long time to gestate. For a game of Metroid Prime 4's stature, three years would seem to be the minimum amount of time required to get it off the ground and released, although it could easily take much longer. It appears that very little if anything was salvaged from Bandai Namco's time on the game, so assuming Retro started from scratch, 2023 would seem to be a relatively realistic release window, but so would 2024 or 2025 at this point. Game development takes time.
That's not to say Nintendo and Retro won't be doing their utmost to get the game finished as soon as possible, and rumours that they're outsourcing environmental art would support the idea that they're eager to speed things along. Still, assuming the size and scope of the game will be in line with the previous entries in the series (at least), there's not much more to be done than let the talented folks at Retro get on with the work — a job made more challenging thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic which affected developers across the planet (along with everyone else).
Of course, who can say what the console hardware landscape will look like when the game eventually launches. Could Metroid Prime 4 launch alongside some sort of updated Switch hardware or an entirely new system? It's certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that it becomes a cross-generational title bridging two consoles similar to how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did with Wii U and Switch. It really depends on how long development takes.
Ultimately, despite our disappointment and impatience to continue Samus' first-person adventures on Switch, most Metroid fans will console themselves with that famous quote from Shigeru Miyamoto: "a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad". Far better that Samus arrives a little late to the party in fine form than bursting in half-ready with a boot missing and her hair caught in her visor, no? We'll be keeping a close eye on developments.
Remember, we'll update this page with more information as and when it arrives. If you're eager for more marvellous Metroid content, feel free to check out our ranking of the best Metroid games of all time.
Well i'm stoked to hear that there's rumors of a Super Metroid remake. Because this is the first i've heard about it.
Eh, Super Metroid could use an improved and faster X-Ray Visor and some other map-related visuals to help with 100%. A dot on the map where there can be 2 upgrades is absolute snot. Also, maybe some sequence-breaking cues so that the general public can enjoy that same feeling.
As for MP4 (assuming it's not a prequel...again), we've got Samus' Fusion Armor and DNA hijinks to address as well as the juicy plot lines that Federation Force and Samus Returns introduced.
Honestly, you know nothing about MP4, don’t lie to your readers.
That phazon picture of a 4... that's about all we really know...
The purple color of this article feels like a shiny pokemon encounter.
Guide: Metroid Prime 4 - Everything We Know So Far
Well... basically, nothing. No, scratch that: actually nothing.
Knowing about goings on surrounding the game, is not the same as knowing things about the actual game itself, so indirect stuff like "development shifted from developer A to developer B" doesn't really tell us anything about the game itself, other than that someone else is taking over, but what it is going to look like, what the story is and so on, you know, the important stuff about games, is completely unknown for now.
Here's hoping they'll finally show a teaser trailer in the upcoming Direct, that displays more than a number 4 logo...
Logo. That's it.
When you don't know anything but still need clicks.
My browser loads the images on this site before the text.
Putting the Nintendo Direct and Metroid Prime 4 logos on the front page like this is cruel.
@Averagewriter LMAO exactly my thoughts as i scrolled through each subheading and didn't read any of the body
Never has an article has been as pointless as this. Most of the article was just padding to say “we don’t know anything.”
@KingBowser86 I agree with your thoughts on the Super Metroid remake except for the sequence-break thing. In addition, I think they could make wall-jumps and other advanced techniques easier to pull off and actually explain in-game that those powerbomb combos exist at all.
As for MP4, I think its safe to say that it's going to be a sequel to the Prime story, not the main story, so it's going to be in the middle of the timeline again, before Metroid 2 and thus before the new Chozo antics introduced in Samus Returns and the Fusion debacle.
Another slow news day I see. We really need a direct.
Everything we know: It's coming out... eventually
@Averagewriter Great summary of an already summarized article of no substance.
When it’s all said and done and MP4 gets released, I’m hoping you guys can make an article about the scrapped version Bandai was working on. I’d love to get insight on their vision, what they were hoping to achieve, what road blocks caused the game to ultimately be cancelled, etc.
So am I the only one that actually enjoyed this article?
@ThanosReXXX lol yea my thoughts too.
I really hope they drop the dumb Sylux subplot that Metroid Prime 3 and Federation Force kept trying to shove in.
Just for laughs it would have been fun to post the article with no text or pics. Just a blank page.
Well Gavin, just be glad you weren't asked to do an article on Metroid 5.
@Averagewriter so true unfortunately....
Such a nothing article, but I guess that’s a pretty common occurrence here. Save for Nintendo and the devs, a logo and the fact that it currently exists, we know nothing about Metroid Prime 4.
In the mean time, I’d love to see a Metroid Prime collection, one that includes remakes of Hunters and Federation Force, plus an a good multiplayer mode in both the collection and MP4, I think the games can only benefit from it.
Subtitle for the article should have read “füch all!” Would have saved a lot of us a lot of time.
I know that if Sylux isn't as featured as Dark Samus was in Echoes or Corruption, I'm not going to be much of a fan of Prime 4 given the story of the series leading to this entry. I'm expecting Prime 4 to release before the end of the 2021 calendar year unless a sizable multiplayer is being added.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Metroid Prime 4: Eventually
Sylux can be a compelling villain, there's some personal motivation behind him/her
It's a blank slate at the moment though, so nothing too promising
Though those cliffhanger scenes were kinda cool
@ThanosReXXX Hey, release dates are important! And all we know is... not anytime soon.
I think this article was a good recap.
Slow day today
So basically an article about everything they know so far about the Metroid Prime 4 game, which after a long winded article is actually nothing.
@Decapre Don't touch my boy Sylux, I dare you!
@CoastersPaul They sure are, especially those TBA ones...
Just here for the comments, to be honest
How about an article on what you know of Metroid Dread ?
We woudl like to see a Seppuku animated VR of course. Haha I've been prepaid for 2 years or something now.
Just when is it out, one year from now, I'd say. Nice one .
Hahah these comments are the only good thing on this post. I've never seen so many words used to describe nothing.
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