While marketing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Nintendo holiday bundles, a top Nintendo executive let slip that Metroid Prime 4 has a release window.
Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aimé noted that titles had done well for Nintendo in this past quarter, even going so far to say that they, “exceeded expectations.” In regards to Metroid Prime 4, Fils-Aimé said, “internally, we have expectations about when [Metroid Prime 4] is going to be released. We haven’t announced it, but yeah, the game is well in development.”
Fils-Aimé added that, “typically six months to maybe a year out is what we like to do, but there are times for strategic reasons that we believe it’s important to message that a game is coming,” he said. “We did that years and years ago with Zelda. We were messaging a new Zelda experience back during the days of the Wii U… It really depends on the game, it depends on the type of development that it’s going through, and it depends on how we feel the consumer is going to respond to the particular message.”
“We do think deeply about the sequencing of our games, but having said that, Nintendo is well-known that if a game isn’t ready, we will push out the development in order to make sure that it is as strong as possible when the game launches,” Fils-Aimé said. “During my tenure with Nintendo, we’ve pushed back development a number of times on key games — in the end it’s always worth it. Because our focus on quality is so strong.”
That last part is a little scary. In the same breath, Fils-Aimé mentioned a release window for the game AND a potential delay. My guess is that things are still far enough away that we won’t see this game until, at the earliest, this time next year. That being said, Nintendo won’t risk another failure for the Metroid series. Metroid: Other M, and Metroid Prime: Federation Force both released to very lackluster reviews and sales.