Metroid Prime 4: Chronic development of a tangle


The development of Metroid Prime 4 restarts from zero. Neither cancellation nor delay: restart, which evidently implies having to wait much longer than initially estimated by the players of Nintendo Switch can play what is one of the more anis projects of the Japanese company in the last ten years.

In this article, we review everything that happened, where we came from, what we know, what we do not know and what will happen from now on not only with this delivery, but with the saga as a whole.

First things: What happened to Metroid Prime 4

Shinya Takahashi, responsible for the development of Nintendo, indicated in a transparent video that the current development was not reaching the minimum levels of quality for a title of this magnitude and, therefore, this product would not see the light in any way. The manager, who considered the decision very complex, comes hand in hand with a studio move, Retro Studios, which was already in charge of the original trilogy, but nevertheless was not working with this room. numbered iteration.

"In particular, we have decided that the producer Kensuke Tanabe work closely with the studio that developed the original Metroid Prime series: Retro Studios, and restart the development process, "said the manager, who predicted that we will have to wait" too long "not only to see the title in the stores, but to know more about that.The aim is that "it is at the height of the rest of the titles of the Metroid Prime series," a suggestive commentary on what they had in hand.Let's look back.

Where we came from

More than eleven years have passed since the release of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, the latest installment in this saga of Retro Studios, starring Samus Aran. Finally, there will be no delivery with the "Prime" stamp developed by a study different from those of Austin. From the moment the game was revealed in the Nintendo Spotlight of E3 2017, he lost the way to announce the existence of the long-awaited announcement: a logo.

Throughout the weeks, different specialized medias could talk to members of Nintendo of America, with one of the main issues raised the reason for such a precocious presentation being an undated title at the time (June 2017). Reggie Fils-Aime, chairman of the US division of Great N, said "The normal thing is that we announce something when it's in a state where it can be tested, got it in hand," as they did with Super Mario Odyssey. However, given the early stage of development, they were not prepared to show it; the staff "did not have everything ready".

Kensuke Tanabe
Kensuke Tanabe, producer of the original trilogy and this fourth installment.

A "new talented team", who?

A grouping of these interviews in the summer of 2017 we made one thing clear: Retro Studios was not looking after Metroid Prime 4, but one "New team with talent". Bill Trinen, of Nintendo of America, also said in the frame of E3 2017 that the title was macerated by a new talented working group, and confirm that Kensuke Tanabe would be the producer of this delivery, as happened with Retro Studios on the GameCube and Wii.

Now we know that, again, everything is at home. Another thing we know and that, therefore, is information is that it will be "a first person adventure"As we see in Nintendo's financial report for the quarter ended June 2017.

The rumor around Bandai Namco Singapore

Today and unless Nintendo says otherwise, we do not know officially which study was taking over the already extinct version of Metroid Prime 4 prior to rebooting. But the possibility that Bandai Namcospecifically the division of Singapore, who was taking responsibility for making this fourth installment.

Back in December 2017, the supposed insider Marcus Sellars he secured that possibility by explaining in Discord that they were doing "with a lot of help from Nintendo." However, Sellars lost one of his bets because he said he would show up with a new trailer on a Nintendo Direct in January 2018. This did not happen and his credibility was suspended by a thread (added to his other mistakes before and after this) ).

Bandai Namco's relationship with Nintendo

If we try to find the meaning of why Nintendo would have contacted a studio such as Bandai Namco to co-develop such an important project, it is easy to think that they would have achieved it after the success of the project. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, titles with a critical rating of 92 in Metacritic and that have become the highest positions in video game sales of their respective consoles. The Wii U shipment sold 5.35 million units (the fourth best-selling game); the delivery of the 3DS sold 9.35 million units (the eighth best-selling game). For summary accounts: a success. Indeed, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate He also had Bandai Namco, as Masahiro Sakurai confirmed in a meeting with Famitsu in June 2018.

But before there was much more. The relationship between the two companies is close, one of the only Japanese outsiders who managed to take control of the name of Super Mario with others of medium importance, like Mario Superstar Baseball, Mario Super Sluggers or the Mario Kart Arcade of recreation. Even in Mario Kart 8 they were assistants in certain aspects, something that we can see in the final credits of this delivery. Finally, mention that they were primarily responsible for Mario Sports Superstars with Cemelot Software Planning; the second played tennis and golf, while Bandai Namco played the other three sports (horse racing, baseball and soccer).

Directions: because Bandai Namco Singapore

But why Bandai Namco Singapore as that "new talented team"? This rumor, which is not information today, since it is not confirmed, has certain indications behind it to consider its truthfulness. After several consultations in LinkedIn, of the 80 workers who now filter the famous social network geared to the world of work, at least 5 invited to think that, in fact, Bandai Namco Singapore was working on a first person shooter / adventure for the Nintendo Switch; although at no time has the word "Metroid" been explicitly quoted.

We started with Morgan Antoni, who said he was working on "an exciting project". This project turned out to be Ace Combat 7. As for Yu Ping Wong, he asserts that it is "an unreleased project", which he also does not name. Yandhi Owner Pratopo anticipates in his profile also being immersed in "a new AAA of a high prestige IP", but does not specify which. Isaac Tan is quite enlightening in his profile, mentioning that he was working as a level designer and map in an FPS, without detailing which one. Work at BN Singapore ended in November 2017.

Emmanuel Lusinchi is one of the most interesting names since he is also a member of this studio division, but this time in charge of "leading a new design team for an ambitious Triple A". This statement is consistent with Nintendo's official information on a new "talented" development team of young workers. If we look at the age of all the people we have mentioned, with the exception of Lusinchi, who leads this team, these are very young workers. However, he stopped working at Bandai Namco Singapore in February 2018.

There is another point in common in all these projects that seem to be the same: they started working in January 2017; In addition, many of them have been part of the LucasArts Singapore in the past with projects like the canceled Star Wars 1313.

The conclusions in this regard are that there is no conclusive data confirming that Bandai Namco Singapore was the study responsible; Of course, many of them have finished participating in this project sometime in 2018.

The prime time of Eurogamer

The straw that broke the camel's back and made most of the fans and media more credible to the rumor was the Eurogamer publication signed by Tom Phillips – which, among other leaks, has the Nintendo NX as a hybrid console – where it literally said " Yes, Bandai Namco is working on Metroid Prime 4 ".

The conclusion that came from Eurogamer is the same one we explored before: Bandai Namco Singapore would be the study that led the FPS project. But soon after they updated the publication indicating that, at the time of their article, they heard that Bandai Namco Japan He was also working on development, assuming from Singapore that he had finished his collaboration to put on another Nintendo Switch game.

None of this information is confirmed by Nintendo, although Eurogamer guarantees that its sources are reliable.

Prequel or sequel?

We can not forget to add the arguments that the Metroid Prime 4 was being designed like a prequel of the original facts. As Mr. Tanabe said in an interview with IGN's José Otero back in E3 2015when he said that I would like to tell stories before the original trilogy within the canonical chronology.

The original work of (NES, 1986) was developed in the year 2075, while Metroid Prime (GCN, 2002) did it in the year of 2076. It is easier, however, that Metroid Prime 4 is actually a sequel set in the year 2078 or 2079, given that Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS, 2016) was placed shortly after the events of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, (Wii, 2007), thus becoming a bridge title. Everything will be seen, but at the moment it has not been confirmed that it is a prequel or that it will happen after the third part.

The supposed reason for the cancellation of the first project

We return to the present, this time at the end of January 2019; hours after the announcement of the restart in game development. According Imran Khan in representation of Game Informer, sources close to his person assure him that Metroid Prime 4 was being an experimental project with the collaboration between various studies. But as they were working in different countries, this reallocation was hindering the proper functioning of the plans and objectives: some complied and some did not.

This resulted in Nintendo rethinking things and decided to focus on development in a single studio, which turned out to be Retro Studios in Texas, thanks to its proposal. The Americans proposed a conceptual sketch for Nintendo that convinced the mustachioed company. Finally they were chosen.

But the publisher of Game Informer goes further and notes that Retro Studios is currently far from the original trilogy, which most members of the past they are no longer connected to the company … but that experience and reputation of this name has been the trigger to give them the green light. Likewise, it also agrees with Eurogamer in point to Bandai Namco Singapore as the previous developer.

About Metroid Prime Trilogy

Regarding rumors Metroid Prime Trilogy in Nintendo Switch, Khan says the ad was planned for Last December, not necessarily in The 2018 Game Awards, but this development is a reality and will be announced sooner or later.

Nintendo Switch in 2019

The resumption of the development of Metroid Prime 4 inevitably disturbs Nintendo's plans not only for 2019 and 2020 but also for the next few years. It was never said that the title would come out in 2018, but simply "TBA" as Bayonetta 3. The only thing that is officially announced for 2019 at the level of first part is the following: New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, Travis Attacks Again: No More Heroes, Daemon X Machina, The Worlds Worked By Yoshi, TOWN, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Animal Crossing, Luigi & Mansion 3 and RPG Pokémon (Generation VIII).


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