The announcement that Metroid Prime 4 is in development for the Nintendo Switch was perhaps the most surprising and exciting reveal at Nintendo's E3 Spotlight. That being said, the reveal is not without criticism, with many saying it was unwarranted to announce a new project with no footage or gameplay to show off. As the title is also being developed by an entirely new team instead of Retro Studios, many are cautiously optimistic about Metroid Prime 4's future gameplay and release date.
IGN was also wondering as to why the project was announced with so few details to back it up, especially since Nintendo's E3 strategy usually consists of coupling their new announcements with playable demos or Treehouse-streamed gameplay. IGN asked Reggie Fils-Aime about this, and he defended the early announcement of Metroid Prime 4.
"You know, for us, we believe that having hands-on opportunity married to an announcement is really the best way to do it. And so let's take Super Mario Odyssey for example. We could have announced it months ago, but we weren't yet ready, the team wasn't ready, to show it and to let the consumer really understand visually how the hat mechanic works, how the capture mechanic comes into play. And so that's how we think these through." — Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America President
Certainly, with the amount of vocal outcry from Metroid fans for a new mainline installment in recent years, the circumstances for announcing Super Mario Odyssey and Metroid Prime 4 were very different. Fils-Aime further elaborated as to why Nintendo strategizes announcements differently.
"For certain games, games that will be in development for, let's call it a decent amount of time, like Metroid Prime 4 — also, given that it's a franchise that we know people have been very eager to get some news -- that's when, fine, we'll share it. We'll share it early. Others, we want to hold closer in and reveal it when the gameplay is going to be available. It literally is game by game, title by title, how we make that decision." — Reggie Fils-Aime
Nintendo's thinking seems to have been on the nose, judging by the initial positive reaction the announcement for Prime 4 development garnered. While the release of the next title in the Metroid Prime series will not come until next year at the absolute earliest, hopefully Nintendo will have more than just a logo to show off before the end of 2017.
Even so, fans will not have long to wait for a Metroid experience. Metroid: Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS will launch on September 15th of this year, and even Reggie had more to say to Polygon about why the Metroid series hype was so strong at E3 this year.
"We wanted to make it clear that Metroid is an important franchise for us. As we think about how to satisfy the needs to the Metroid fans, we needed to make sure they understood there was a great console experience coming, in addition to Metroid: Samus Returns coming on Nintendo 3DS. That's what we wanted to make sure it was clear that it wasn't one or the other, that we were going to support both of our platforms with a great new Metroid experience." — Reggie Fils-Aime
Have you seen the announcement trailer for Metroid Prime 4? While it is admittedly bare-bones, it had me shaking with excitement during Nintendo's recent E3 Spotlight. What do you hope to see in the eventual game when it comes out? And what are your expectations for this new studio taking on one of Nintendo's most high-profile properties? Let us know what you think in the comments below!