A former Next Level Games concept artist's portfolio is making Metroid fans' minds race with the possibility the studio had been working on or considering a new entry in the series.
The artwork, which includes a stylized version of Samus in full Power Suit as well as two boss creature designs, appears on NomadicAlternatives.org, a site owned by the artists Nelson "Dedos" Garcia and Xochitl. Garcia's LinkedIn profile shows him working as Lead Concept Artist at Next Level Games from 2007-2009 and he is credited in their Punch-Out!! title for the Wii (and the wealth of Little Mac art in his gallery's also a pretty big tell on that front).
The Metroid art displayed within the NomadicAlternatives conceptual art gallery is noted as Next Level Games's property. However, this in itself does not guarantee a Metroid game was ever in the works there. There are a couple other curiosities within the gallery, including pieces entitled "Mario Ring" and "Mario Arena." It's unlikely we'll receive solid answers as to what exactly this art is from or what it could have been, but it's still fun to muse over. The entire gallery, Nintendo-related or not, is well worth a look.
So do you think the crew behind Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon was ever pondering some space adventures? Would you like them to?