The news comes about a year and a half after Nintendo announced that the game was in development for the Nintendo Switch internally. Producer Kensuke Tanabe previously worked on a slew of Nintendo titles including “Metroid Prime: Federation Force,” “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze,” and “Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.”
“We have decided to reexamine the development structure itself and change it,” Shinya Takahashi said in a rare video from Nintendo on Youtube Friday morning. “Specifically, we have decided to have the producer, Kensuke Tanabe, work in trust and collaboration with the studio that developed the original Metroid Prime series, Retro Studios in the United States and restart development from the beginning.”
The decision came after Nintendo decided that the current development progress had not “reached the standards we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series.”
“Nintendo always strives for the highest quality in our games; and in the development phase, we challenge ourselves and confront whether the game is living up to that quality on a daily basis. If we’re not satisfied with the quality we aren’t able to deliver it to our customers with confidence and the game will not live up to our fans’ expectations,” Takahashi said. “From this perspective, we have determined that the current development status of the game is very challenged, and we had to make a difficult decision as a development team.”
Takahashi said that by collaborating with Retro Studios they believe they can make the game something that meets expectations.
“We did not make this decision lightly,” he said. “This change will essentially mean restarting development from the beginning, so the completion of the game will be delayed from our initial internal plan. We strongly recognize that this delay will come as a disappointment to the many fans who have been looking forward to the launch of ‘Metroid Prime 4.'”
He said that it will be a “long road” until Nintendo can next provide an update on the game’s development and that development will be “extensive.” The Metroid Prime series turned the beloved Metroid franchise into a first-person action-adventure game. Retro Studios developed the first three games in the series.
News of the delay for the game comes as Nintendo clears a strong holiday season for the Nintendo Switch, but is still struggling to hit its ambitious goal of selling 20 million Nintendo Switch in the 2018 fiscal year.