Metroid Prime 4 was announced all the way back in 2017, since then Metroid Dread was announced and released. What happened to Metroid Prime 4? It isn’t often that Nintendo announces games that take this long to come out. Metroid Prime 4 was an incredibly hyped announcement back in 2017 when it was revealed at E3. However, it was announced with just a logo, no gameplay or trailer and since then we still haven’t received either.
In 2018, then Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime even said that the game was “well into development” and yet, still nothing. Then, in January 2019, Shinya Takahashi of Nintendo EPD, the game development division of Nintendo, said that Metroid Prime 4 had been completely scrapped and restarted. The project was taken away from Bandai Namco Studios, the original developer, and given to Retro Studios, who developed the original Metroid Prime games.
When Metroid Dread was announced at E3 2021 many fans were understandably confused about how a different Metroid game could be announced for release later the same year when we still haven’t seen a lick of Prime 4. Perhaps Nintendo learned from its previous mistake and elected to only announce Metroid Dread when it was virtually finished. It certainly hasn’t damaged the franchise, Metroid Dread has benefitted from huge sales since it launched last week. It became the fastest-selling and highest-grossing Metroid game in the UK and has sparked a boost in sales for previous games in the series worldwide.
So, with the franchise boost that Metroid Dread has provided, maybe we will finally hear something from Nintendo on Prime 4 in the near future? After all, it has almost been 3 years since the production restart for the game was announced. With any luck, production on Prime 4 has finally been going well. Perhaps we might get a 2022 release? 5 years after the initial reveal and over 3 years after the restart. Maybe Nintendo will want to avoid announcing anything more about the game until it is finally ready in order to avoid more fan disappointment. For now, fans will have to make do with, the admittedly awesome, Metroid Dread.