Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi dropped a bomb on unsuspecting Metroid fans today via a short video on the company's Youtube channel, saying that Metroid Prime 4 would be delayed and its development restarted.
Takahashi stated that Nintendo was not satisfied with the current state of the game and that it has "not reached the standards" they seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series.
Thus, the game is being handed over to the series' former steward, Retro Studios, and development will be restarted. Metroid Prime 4 was previously being worked on by Bandai Namco Singapore.
When will we next hear about the game, then? Takahashi stated that "it will be a long road until the next time we [Nintendo] will be able to update you on the development progress," indicating that it could be years.
The last new game Retro Studios completed was Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in 2014, and it took about 3.5 years for that game to be finished after its predecessor, Donkey Kong Country Returns, released in late 2010. Considering Retro's average timetable for developing games, then, it seems likely that we may not see Metroid Prime 4 until 2022 at the earliest, especially if all previous development is completely scrapped.
Former Retro Games Environment Artist Eric Kozlowsky revealed on Twitter that the company's former project may not be in production anymore if the studio has now taken on Metroid Prime 4 unless there are now two development teams.
Retro had been rumored to be working on a racing title called Star Fox: Grand Prix, though the game had not yet officially been announced.
In the meantime, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto's famous words come to mind: "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is bad forever."
Source: Nintendo (via Youtube)
Edited by Jason Clement