Some new job announcements from Retro Studios may suggest that Metroid Prime 4 is still in early development five years after its release.
Metroid Prime 4 was first revealed back in 2017. Since then, at every Nintendo Direct, E3 and other big gaming event, fans have been hoping to hear more about the next instalment in the Metroid series. As fans grew increasingly impatient with the development saga surrounding Metroid Prime 4, Nintendo tried to cheer them up with Metroid Dread, which gave players back Samus’ iconic costume and a side-view style reminiscent of the first instalments in the series. Released in late 2021, Metroid Dread quickly became the best-selling game in the series.
As it has been a very long time since Metroid Prime 4 was first announced, some fans believe that the game could be released soon. However, recent job advertisements at Retro Studios, the company that took over the development of Metroid Prime 4 from Bandai Namco, suggest otherwise. The developer is hiring for a Senior Concept Artist and an Environmental Designer position. The Senior Concept Artist will be responsible for designing worlds and characters, while the Environmental Designer will be in charge of developing “environmental elements”.
Both of these listings suggest that Metroid Prime 4 is a long way off, as worlds and characters are elements that are often designed early in the title’s development cycle. Considering that Retro Studios is not currently working on another title, it seems unlikely that these listings are not focused on completing Metroid Prime 4. Retro Studios’ most recent release was Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, released for Switch in 2018.
By February, fans had already come to terms with the likelihood that Metroid Prime 4 was still a long way from completion. Retro Studios’ new job postings have been popping up since early 2022, which means that while work on Metroid Prime 4 is still ongoing, it’s likely still in the early stages. Some fans even think that it should be reintroduced when the game is finished, as it had probably changed from Bandai Namco’s original vision when they were working on the game.
Considering the pretty decisive ending to Metroid Prime 3, many fans wonder why the next game would even aspire to be a direct sequel. Although it’s being referred to as The Witcher 4, the next instalment in the saga will break away from the original game trilogy. Some fans even think that Metroid Prime 4 should be dropped from the original title and that the developers should launch it as a new Witcher game.
Metroid Prime 4 is currently in development for Nintendo Switch.