Samus looking badass in the trailer for Metroid Prime 4: Beyond

‘Metroid Prime 4’ Lives!


It’s E3, June 2017. Nintendo hosts their first big Direct since the Switch came out in March.

Recommended Videos

One big feature of the presentation is the first trailers for upcoming games like Super Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. They also announce new games for a couple of their core franchises: a Kirby game which would become Kirby: Star Allies, a new core Pokémon RPG which would become Sword and Shield, Yoshi’s Crafted World, and … Metroid Prime 4.

Of those four games, three would come out in 2018 or 2019. But not Metroid Prime 4. Metroid Prime 4 did not even receive any further teasers or trailers … until a Nintendo Direct seven years later, in June 2024.

That conspicuous gap, in which Metroid Prime 4 was apparently in development hell and Nintendo was very silent, made fans concerned that the game would be canceled, if it even existed in any substantial form at all. But it’s alive! It exists! It’s subtitled Beyond! And it’s coming out in 2025!

In short: holy shit!

The history of Metroid Prime 4’s non-history

“Now in development for the Nintendo Switch,” the Metroid Prime 4 announcement teaser from E3 2017 declared proudly. The teaser showed no footage from the game. It’s just 40 seconds long, with a logo reveal at the end. Samus makes no appearance. But that’s not atypical for an announcement teaser. The people were excited.

Subsequent details began to trickle out about the game. Then-senior marketing manager of Nintendo of America, Bill Trinen, confirmed that Kensuke Tanabe, a producer on all previous Metroid Prime games, was working on Metroid Prime 4. But Nintendo subsidiary Retro Studios, the studio behind all those previous Prime games, was not involved.

Instead, Trinen said “a talented new development team” was working on the game. This raised some eyebrows, especially since Retro Studios was very much still active. Rumor had it that the game was being developed at Bandai Namco Studios instead.

In 2018, then-president of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aimé, said the game was “well into development” and “proceeding well.” And yet, the game was conspicuously absent from Nintendo’s 2018 E3 presentation. Nintendo said this was because they wanted to wait until they could show something which had a real “wow” factor.

This was perhaps a cause for concern if you read between the lines. That pessimistic view was validated in January 2019, when Nintendo announced development had restarted on the game. Restarted. The good news was that the game had moved studios and that Retro Studios was now in charge of making the game. Should Retro Studios have been developing the game from the get-go? Probably, yes.

Still, it’s definitely a cause for concern when a game has to switch studios and start over from the beginning when it was slated to have been done. That kind of thing rarely happens, and it’s usually a bad sign when it does. But in this case, because Metroid Prime 4 was being returned to its original, very capable hands, and because Nintendo is not Sony or Microsoft (Hallelujah!), there’s reason for optimism.

Metroid Prime 4 lives!!!

Since the January 2019 announcement that Metroid Prime 4 was changing studios and starting its development from scratch, communications on the game went completely silent. For five and a half years, Nintendo did not say a word. Literally nothing.

This, of course, made fans fret. A five-or-so-year development cycle for a game isn’t unusual if we’re going just from the restart point. But Metroid Prime 4 had already been announced. Of course, people would be antsy and concerned.

But then, almost exactly seven years after its announcement teaser, Nintendo showed the first proper trailer for Metroid Prime 4 to cap off their June 2024 Nintendo Direct. We got to see proper gameplay for the first time! What’s more, we have a subtitle, Beyond, and a release date of 2025.

Just the confirmation that the game was real and wasn’t canceled was a huge relief. “We’re very sorry for the long wait,” the Direct’s host, Shinya Takahashi, apologized after the trailer. On the bright side, it’s unlikely Nintendo would announce a release year after this long only to back up. So I think it’s safe to take their word that Metroid Prime 4 will actually come out next year.

One big question harks back to the claim from that first 2017 teaser: “Now in development for the Nintendo Switch.” We know the Switch’s successor will be announced before March 2025. Is there any chance that Metroid Prime 4 is being planned as a launch title for that successor? Or will it be the Switch’s big swan song?

Either way, you can rest assured Nintendo will let you play Beyond on the Switch, just as they originally promised seven years ago.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Kirsten Carey
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.