Metroid Prime 4 delayed and rebooted as Nintendo passes it to original trilogy dev Retro Studios

Things haven't been going well for Metroid Prime 4 since Nintendo announced it at E3 2017 and proceeded to say nothing else about it. Today, Shinya Takahashi, who heads up Nintendo Entertainment Planning and Development - AKA the part of Nintendo that makes all the games - personally delivered some news (in the video above) that will disappoint some fans and excite others: Metroid Prime 4 has been delayed, but it's also returning to original Prime series developer Retro Studios.

"We deeply understand the high anticipation that Metroid Prime series fans have for this title. We have felt it especially from the passionate words from fans we heard when we first announced this title at E3 the year before last," Takahashi explains in the video. "Ever since the announcement, we have not been able to give you an update, but as a result of the continuing development since that time, although this very regrettable - we must let you know that the current development progress has not reached the standards we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series."

Takahashi said Nintendo always seeks to deliver products with confidence and live up to expectations, and it just wasn't working out for Metroid Prime 4. So, the team making the initial version of the game made a difficult choice.

"We have decided to reexamine the development structure itself and change it," he continues. "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. By collaborating and developing with Retro Studios, we believe we can make this game something that will meet our fans' expectations."

All Nintendo ever showed of Metroid Prime 4 was a logo. It's tough to say how far along things ever got for it. But even if development only picked up after the official announcement at E3 2017, that's still a year and a half of work Nintendo's tossing aside. I was interested to see what Nintendo would do with Prime internally, especially after it proved it could put its own spin on shooting action with the Splatoon series. But bringing back Retro (a subsidiary of Nintendo, which most recently made the Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze games) is probably a safer bet, and it's sure to please fans as well.

It'll be a while before you can play Metroid Prime 4, but you can check out our picks for the best Nintendo Switch games right now.