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Metroid Prime 4 (working title) is a first-person adventure game currently in development for Nintendo Switch. Announced on June 13, 2017 during the Nintendo Spotlight at E3, it will be the fourth main entry in the Prime series. The game's announcement came nearly ten years after the release of its predecessor, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Its release date is currently unknown and there are few details about Prime 4 available at this time. It will be the first mainline Metroid Prime game not to be developed by Retro Studios.
The game will be developed by a "talented new development team" led by Kensuke Tanabe, the longtime producer of the Prime series. According to him, Metroid Prime 4 "returns to the first-person adventure roots of the original Metroid Prime game and introduces a new storyline that ties together the events of the Metroid Prime universe and takes the storyline in new directions."
Speaking to Kotaku in 2009 after the release of Metroid Prime Trilogy, Tanabe hinted at future Prime installments, and the potential to expand upon the multiplayer mode in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: "We will keep considering multiplayer for the Prime series. For instance, I think I can come up with some unique ideas using the Morph Ball, which is a specific skill of Samus."
While nothing is known yet of the game's plot, Tanabe had revealed some of his ideas for a future Metroid Prime game in an interview regarding Metroid Prime: Federation Force in 2015. Tanabe suggested that a fourth game might be set on a single planet and feature a time-shifting mechanic. In terms of story, Tanabe desired to further explore the background of Sylux, the anti-Galactic Federation Bounty Hunter from Metroid Prime Hunters, who he confirmed was the pilot of the mysterious spacecraft at the end of Corruption: "Personally I'd like to create a story centring[sic] around Sylux and Samus. We've done a story based on the Hunters, and this time around [referring to Metroid Prime: Federation Force] 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." Sylux was later seen in the secret ending of Federation Force, forcibly causing a Metroid Egg to hatch.
The game was announced on the same day as Metroid: Samus Returns, which was released on September 15, 2017.
The release date was given by Bill Trinen after E3 as "beyond 2017". VentureBeat initially quoted Charlie Schibetta, Nintendo of America's corporate communications director, saying that Metroid Prime 4 would be released in 2018, before retracting that statement and clarifying he meant "2018 and beyond". An earnings report released by Nintendo on July 26, 2017 listed the game's release date as "TBA", underneath the upcoming Pokémon RPG for Switch, the release date of which was given as "2018 or later".
In February 2018, LinkedIn profiles of personnel from Bandai Namco Studios Singapore surfaced, with many mentioning that they were working on an unannounced, well-known IP exclusively for Switch. The profile of lead designer Shawn Pitman stated he was working on an "Unannounced Game (First Person Shooter/Adventure Exclusive to Nintendo Switch)". Many of these personnel are veterans of the Far Cry series and 007 Legends, and the cancelled Star Wars 1313, all first-person shooter games. Multiple sources later corroborated the rumor to Eurogamer, although Nintendo declined to comment. Eurogamer later updated the story after hearing that Bandai Namco in Japan, which was assisting with the game's development, is now leading production while the Singapore studio moves onto a different project. Later in February, the profile of a senior online programer at Bandai Namco surfaced, which stated that they were working with the Singapore studio at the main office on "exciting projects". This may indicate that Prime 4 will feature online multiplayer in some capacity.
Metroid Prime 4 was not shown at E3 2018. Nate Bihldorf and Bill Trinen confirmed that the game is still in development, and they will show it "when we have something we think is going to wow people." Reggie Fils-Aime echoed that statement and said the game is "making great progress", while also expressing Nintendo's desire to not torment Metroid fans with repeated teases of the game, which will not be released in 2018. He reiterated that it was announced early to assure fans that Metroid would come to Switch, adding that Nintendo prefers to showcase extended reveals of their games within a timeframe of six-nine months before their release. Speaking to Mashable in November 2018, Fils-Aime reiterated this point, and revealed that Nintendo has expectations of when Prime 4 will be released.
- The announcement trailer for Bayonetta 3 at the Game Awards on December 7, 2017 was done similarly to the Prime 4 First Look trailer, in that no footage was shown and the game was only stated to be in development for Switch.
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- ^ More Evidence That Metroid Prime 4 Is Being Developed By Bandai Namco Has Emerged. Retrieved on 2018-02-07.
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