The game, which was announced in 2017, was restarted by Retro Studios from scratch…
Nintendo announced in a video that Metroid Prime 4, which was initially being made by Bandai Namco, is getting its development taken off the table to be restarted from scratch by Retro Studios, the American studio that created the previous three episodes. The producer is going to be Kensuke Tanabe, who was the producer for the trilogy before. In short: Nintendo risks a possible multiple-year delay to trust the original dev team to work on the game.
This subject is already shocking, but we’re going a step further: Imran Khan, the senior editor of GameInformer, wrote the following on Twitter: „Huh, I guess that explains where Metroid Prime Trilogy [on the Switch] disappeared to. It’s been long done. [The] initial announcement was supposed to be last month [in December]. Nintendo sits on a lot of games for a long time until they feel like marketing it. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe was on the eShop servers like a year ago.
Retro working on Metroid Prime 4 is interesting. There’s not a lot of old Metroid Prime people there anymore, so the experience is all just in the name. It’s a good PR move, but I wonder what happened with the old developer (which was Bandai Namco Studios) to cause them to overturn the table. The last I heard of the game was around September when people told me it was proceeding fine. [Nintendo of America president and COO] Reggie [Fils-Aime] even said the same in December, when clearly it must have been boiling over.
[I’m ] hearing that the big problem with Metroid Prime 4 development was Nintendo’s experimental ad-hoc development process; it was being made in parts in different countries. Some studios were trucking along saying it was going smoothly while it was on fire elsewhere. Internal thinking was that it needs to be all under one roof to right the ship. Interestingly, Retro made the pitch for their involvement and put together a demo that Nintendo liked.” It sounds harsh, especially if the Bandai Namco-development (which involved even ex-Star Wars 1313 developers!?) crumbled in late 2018… but on ResetEra, Khan added one more thought: „There’s more Metroid stuff besides Metroid Prime 4 in development and I would imagine the Metroid Prime 4 delay adjusts their schedule a bit.”
So it seems that Nintendo – potentially due to cost-lowering? – tried to create a game internationally, but we haven’t heard much of it in the past 1.5 years aside from the announcement teaser. All we can do now is waiting for Retro.
Will we see the cancelled version of Metroid Prime 4 in the future?