A Metroid Prime Trilogy remaster for Nintendo Switch has already finished development and is awaiting release, it’s been claimed.
That’s according to respected VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb, who claimed in a Giant Bomb show this weekend (pay wall) that Nintendo was holding off the release and announcement partly due to restricted QA resources during the pandemic, and possibly to align it more closely with the release of Metroid Prime 4.
This matches with claims made by another key industry journalist as far back as 2019, as well as what VGC has been told independently.
“The game is done and Nintendo is holding it,” Grubb said on his Giant Bomb show. “I think Metroid Prime trilogy is done and whether or not Nintendo releases it now or later depends on other factors.
He added: “I think that game is sitting in their pocket for whenever Nintendo decides it’s the right time, and Nintendo’s done this a lot recently so it’s not unusual, it’s not a sign of some bad thing happening, it’s not a sign of a lack of faith in Metroid… Nintendo can afford [to sit on it] and that’s how they’re treating it.”
Grubb went on to claim that a big reason for the supposed delay in releasing Trilogy was due to restrictions to Nintendo’s QA testing processes during the pandemic.
“I think a big problem for Nintendo for quite some time during the pandemic was QA… I think Nintendo was focusing its quality assurance resources on one or two big projects at a time and that meant that some games that were basically finished were sitting on the side, while they had their lockdown secure QA processes focused on one or two more important games,” Grubb said.
“Japan is still dealing with these issues so I don’t think those processes are going to open up any time soon.”
He added: “The other factor for Metroid Prime Trilogy is that it’s definitely going to be a marketing beat for Metroid Prime 4, almost certainly. So right now we’re getting Metroid Dread this year and then I would imagine that Metroid Prime trilogy is something they’ll release close to the release of Metroid Prime 4, whenever that is.”
The Wii version of Metroid Prime Trilogy, which added Wii remote aiming controls to the first two games, was released in 2009.
A former Retro Studios design lead who worked on the Metroid Prime trilogy recently said he was sceptical the games will be ported to Nintendo Switch.
Mike Wilkan, who was a design lead on all three Prime games before leaving Retro some years later, made the comments on Facebook. The designer’s scepticism involves the complexity of translating the third Metroid Prime game’s Wii motion controls to Switch’s standard setup, which he said would require “a herculean effort”.
Nintendo recently announced Metroid Dread, the series’ first mainline 2D instalment in nearly 20 years, for release on Nintendo Switch this October.
And in 2019 Nintendo announced that it had decided to “restart development from the beginning” for Metroid Prime 4, with producer Kensuke Tanabe calling in Retro to take over the project from its original, unannounced developer. Retro has been hiring for Metroid Prime 4 ever since.