Make it a launch title, and we’re talking, Nintendo.
We’ve long waited for a new Metroid or Metroid Prime game. What we got yesterday at Nintendo’s E3 event was not it. It was a bastardization of the Metroid IP, an arena shooter that would have been better off as its own thing, a game that completely goes antithetical to everything that Metroid, and especially Metroid Prime, was.
However, for fans of the series, Nintendo just hinted at something that may be music to their ears- there is a new Metroid Prime game, and it is probably for the NX. Speaking to Eurogamer, Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe said that a new Metroid Prime game would probably take years to develop- by which point the Wii U would long be dead.
“If we started for Wii U now, it would likely take three years or so. So it would likely now be on Nintendo’s NX console,” he said. “It’s a long time but it would need to include a lot of content, which would take a lot of work on the development side. Instead of broadening it to more planets I would have one and would focus on the timeline, and being able to change that. That’s one interesting idea I have in mind… but I understand many people thought that Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was too difficult.”
So much for the mechanics and the structure of the game- but Metroid Prime is unusual for a Nintendo game in that it is heavily story focused. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption completely wrapped up the Prime saga. Where, then, is the necessity of a Prime 4?
“The stories of Dark Samus and Phazon are done now,” he confirmed, before moving on to something else- the tantalizing cliffhanger at the end of Metroid Prime 3 that sees Samus being pursued by a mysterious bounty hunter (now confirmed as Sylux).
“So it was Sylux, another hunter from Metroid Prime Hunters at the end of Metroid Prime 3. Personally I’d like to create a story centring around Sylux and Samus,” he said.
“We’ve done a story based on the Hunters, and this time around [with the 3DS game] we’re doing a story on the Galactic Federation. I would like to cross the two over in the future. And of course see a little more of Samus.”
Another way that Metroid Prime 4 might differ from other Nintendo franchises might be in how it handles numbering. Whereas most Nintendo franchises start out with numbered sequels, they eventually give them up for subtitles, after two or three entries. Tanabe says he has no problems continuing using numbers. “Three ends the trilogy, but if I can I would like to continue with numbered games,” he said.
Finally, he confirmed that the Wii U would very likely not be seeing a Metroid Prime game- and clarified why that would be the case.
“Truth be told, making HD games takes a lot of time and resources… I haven’t been able to collect a team or the resources to do it.”
It makes sense, too. Metroid costs a lot of money to develop, and isn’t exactly a sales monster to begin with- why would Nintendo waste time and money to develop a new Metroid game for a console where it would probably struggle to crack a million copies sold?
It is pretty clear they are biding time until the NX now. In which case, they better hit it out of the park with that console. Something tells me it will be the last legitimate shot at the console market that they get.