In the summer of 2017, Nintendo surprised its fans with the announcement of two new Metroid games. One of them came out on 3DS that same year, while the next entry to the Metroid Prime series has fans yearning for more information or at least a release window that doesn’t span an entire year.
What we know
We don’t know much about Metroid Prime 4 other than the fact that it’s in development. Nintendo has not shared which team will be developing the game. Is Retro Studios out of the picture? While I couldn’t imagine any reason why that would happen, there are rumours that Bandai Namco, a company with a long list of games using Unreal Engine 4, is behind the development of Prime 4. And those rumours are growing stronger and more credible.
The first rumour surfaced on Reddit last year but there was no way to confirm it or at least give it some credibility. You can find it here in full. It wasn’t until Shawn Pitman, BANDAI NAMCO Studios Singapore Lead Designer, wrote on his LinkedIn profile that he’s working on a “First Person Shooter/Adventure Exclusive to the Nintendo Switch”, that this rumour started to gain traction. Nintendo themselves famously refer to Metroid Prime as a First Person Adventure series.
This rumour comes as a surprise because Retro Studios, a Texas-based company was behind the development of the first 3 games and their teams are responsible for making the series’ jump from 2D to 3D, such a masterpiece of game design.
If it’s bandai namco, it’s unreal engine 4
Taking a look at Bandai Namco’s biggest games, it’s not hard to deduce that in the case that the rumour is true and they are working on Metroid Prime 4, that it will be developed with Unreal Engine 4. Some other Bandai Namco games using UE4 are:
– SOULCALIBUR VI
– Ace Combat 7
– Dragon Ball FighterZ
– TEKKEN 7
– Code Vein
Personally, it would be very surprising if Nintendo put on of their most anticipated games in the hands of a third-party company. Their previous experiment in 2009 with Team Ninja in the form of Metroid Other M, did not bode so well with fans and critics alike. But if Bandai Namco is behind the project and using Unreal Engine 4, I can’t complain.
What do you think? Is Retro Studios out of the picture? Do you trust Bandai Namco with Nintendo’s Half-Life 3?
Full credit for spotting the LinkedIn page goes to Doctre81, the leaker with the best track record regarding Nintendo games.