In mid-June 2017, Nintendo dropped a bombshell reveal that they were developing Metroid Prime 4 with the help of Bandai Namco. A couple years later, they announced that development had to be restarted, now handing the reigns over to Retro Studios, who developed the original trilogy back in the naughts. Now, it’s 2023, and we haven’t heard anything more about the title, which seems to be in development hell. A Retro job posting for a senior environmental artist may or may not be related – if it is, that suggests the game is still churning along in early to mid development.
Six years is a long time – especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine messing with our collective perception of time passing. So let’s just take a quick stock of what’s happened since the announcement of Prime 4, shall we?
- Multiple Legend of Zelda games (Link’s Awakening remake, Skyward Sword HD, Tears of the Kingdom)
- Multiple Xenoblade games (Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, Xenoblade Chronicles 3)
- Multiple Fire Emblem games (Three Houses, Engage)
- Multiple Kirby games (Star Allies, Forgotten Land, Return to Dreamland Deluxe, and spinoffs)
- Who knows how many Mario games (Super Mario Odyssey, Super Mario Maker 2, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury)
- The slow decline and eventual discontinuation of the Nintendo 3DS and its eShop
- The entire development and release of the Super Mario Bros. Movie
- Multiple rereleases of EarthBound (on the SNES Classic and Nintendo Switch Online)
- Two and a half Pokémon generations (Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, Sword/Shield, Scarlet/Violet)
- Two completely different Metroid titles, one of which was a revival of a title notorious for its own development hell (Samus Returns, Dread)
- Countless other video games in general
It’s truly been a long road. And that road keeps looking longer with every passing year. We’ll just have to hope we see an end to it someday.
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