It's been over a decade since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption released on the Wii. With that being the case, it's understandable that stalwart Samus fans have been getting a little antsy over the next title's release on Nintendo Switch. Our favorite space warrior's titles have had their share of ups and downs, but since Retro Studios is once more at the helm, it's likely the fourth title will be something spectacular to look forward to.
It's probably a long way out before Metroid Prime 4 gets released and becomes one of the best Nintendo Switch games, but here are all of the rumors and facts that we know about this game so far.
Update: June 15, 2021: During E3 2021 Nintendo says they're still working on Metroid Prime 4
Nothing new was said about this upcoming Samus game, but we were reassured that Nintendo is continuing to work hard on it.
Update: April 14, 2021: Disney and Dreamworks talent has reportedly been hired as the Lighting and Compositing Artist
Chad Orr, who previously worked on Disney's Moana and Zootopia as well as Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon 3 and The Croods: A New Age, has reportedly been hired as Retro's Lighting and Compositing Artist.
Update: September 10, 2020: Retro Studios hires Dylan Jobe to aid in development of Metroid Prime 4
Dylan Jobe, an industry veteran, has confirmed that he has been hired by Retro Studios as director of development for Metroid Prime 4.
What we learned about Metroid Prime 4 at E3 2021
During the Nintendo E3 2021 announcements, we didn't see any new information. However, Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi did state, "currently we are working hard on the latest game in the Metroid Prime Series — Metroid Prime 4." He went on to announce Metroid Dread, a new Metroid sidescroller that will be releasing later this year.
Metroid Prime 4 delayed
Metroid Prime 4 was first announced at E3 2017. Still, two years later, in early 2019, Nintendo's senior managing executive officer, Shinya Takahashi explained in a development update that "the current development progress has not reached the standards we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series." Takahashi went on to say that "Nintendo always strives for the highest quality in our games; and in the development phase, we challenge ourselves and confront whether the game is living up to that quality on a daily basis."
From there, he announced that Retro Studios, the developers that were in charge of the original trilogy, will "restart development from the beginning." While this news means that we will need to wait quite a bit longer to get our hands on Samus' upcoming game, it's far more likely that Retro Studios will be able to provide us with the Metroid Prime experience we've been waiting for. While the delay definitely sucks, I personally would rather wait for a quality version of the game than get access to a mediocre one sooner.
Metroid Prime 4 current development
According to Shinesparkers, a Metroid fansite, Chad Orr has joined the Retro Studios team as a Lighting and Compositing Artist. Orr previously worked for Disney and Dreamworks on projects such as Moana, Zootopia, How to Train Your Dragon 3, and The Croods: A New Age. Not to mention he also worked on Sony Santa Monica's God of War.
He's definitely a media veteran, and we're happy to learn that he's working on Metroid Prime 4. While it isn't huge news, it helps us know that the project is still going along as planned.
Retro Studios previously tweeted that they are looking for a Lead Producer to join the Metroid Prime 4 team.
We are looking for a 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗲𝗿 to join us on our journey to develop Metroid Prime 4! #GameJobs #GameDev #GameDevJobshttps://t.co/NWVPLGel3E pic.twitter.com/4hpOgw0BygWe are looking for a 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗲𝗿 to join us on our journey to develop Metroid Prime 4! #GameJobs #GameDev #GameDevJobshttps://t.co/NWVPLGel3E pic.twitter.com/4hpOgw0Byg— Retro Studios (@RetroStudios) August 14, 2020August 14, 2020
When clicking on the tweet's link, you're directed to a list of several different job openings for the game, all listed in Austin, Texas.
Recently, Dylan Jobe was hired by Retro Studios as director of development. Jobe has over two decades of experience in the gaming industry and has worked on titles like Doom, Twisted Metal: Black, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Metroid Prime 4 story
It would make sense for the fourth game in the Metroid Prime series to continue where the trilogy left off, but we won't know for sure until we learn more information from Retro Studios or Nintendo. We'll keep our eyes out and will update this section as we learn more.
It's been quite a while since the first three games were released, so we understand if you don't remember the story that unfolded in the original trilogy — the first two games released on Game Cube in 2001 and 2004, respectively. And then the third released way back on the Wii in 2007. That means it's been over a decade since the last Metroid Prime game was released. Yeesh, it's been a long time.
What's the plot of the Metroid Prime trilogy?
In case you don't remember the story from the original trilogy or perhaps have never played the originals, we've provided a brief synopsis below.
- Metroid Prime - Samus lands on Tallon IV after following a distress signal from a space pirate frigate. While there, she discovers a powerful substance called Phazon, which is slowly harming the planet. After sabotaging the space pirates' operation, she fights a mutated Metroid, the titular Metroid Prime. It swipes DNA from Samus' Phazon Suit and becomes Dark Samus.
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes - The Galactic Federation hires Samus to locate some missing marines. She arrives at the planet Aether only to discover that a meteor has struck the planet, infected it with Phazon, and created a terrifying parallel dimension called Dark Aether. The space pirates and Dark Samus show up following the Phazon trail. Samus sets about destroying her foes and ridding the planet of Dark Aether. By the time the game ends, she seems to have defeated Dark Samus, but the Phazon is still a problem left to solve.
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - Unfortunately, the Galactic Federation is now using Phazon and has created a special PED Suit for Samus. The thing is, it slowly corrupts the wearer. So now, Samus must go about her tasks with the constant threat of Phazon Corruption. Samus learns that Phazon is actually created by a sentient planet called Phaaze. With the help of some space pirates, Dark Samus lands on Phaaze and tries to further the spread of Phazon. Samus beats Dark Samus in a fight and then destroys the planet. However, given how difficult it is to kill Dark Samus, we really won't be surprised to learn that she's alive in the fourth game.
Will Metroid Prime 4 work with amiibo?
There are some seriously cool looking Metroid amiibo figurines out there, but some of them are rather costly to acquire right now:
- Samus Aran & Metroid (2-pack)
- Zero Suit Samus
- Dark Samus
We don't know for sure if Retro Studios will include some amiibo functionality in Metroid Prime 4, but it seems like amiibo aren't getting used as much as they were during the first two years of the Nintendo Switch's lifespan. We'll just have to wait and see.
How much will Metroid Prime 4 cost?
The fourth game will likely have an MSRP of $60, seeing as that's the typical price for hefty, AAA quality Switch games. We'll update if we learn anything contrary.
Metroid Prime 4 release date
Nintendo has given no indication for when this game will release. However, given that the game was restarted at the beginning of 2019 and it usually takes between three and five years for a game to be created, we assume we likely won't see this game launch until sometime between 2022 and 2023.
We'll update if we learn any new information.
Continue Samus' saga
The fourth installment in the Metroid Prime series is currently in development for Nintendo Switch. However, very little is known about the plot aside from that it will likely take place after the events of the third game.
Updated June 3, 2021: Added info on E3 2021.
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.