Metroid had fallen on rough times. The last game to be released to rave reviews was way back in 2007 on the Wii, and since then only spin-offs, Federation Forces, and critical flop, Other M, have managed to squeeze out into the public. Gamers lost faith in Nintendo’s ability to release a proper Metroid, and Nintendo, it seemed, lost faith in the franchise to perform well and justify a major release.
While I never lost hope that Nintendo was working on a new Metroid for the Switch while Federation Forces helped hold down the fort, even I was shocked this week when this age of doubt came tumbling down. Fans received announcements for not one but two new Metroid games during its E3 presentations, and Nintendo even broke its rule of announcing games too early to assure fans that it still believes in the franchise.
This comes according to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime speaking to Polygon.
We wanted to make it clear that Metroid is an important franchise for us. As we think about how to satisfy the needs to the Metroid fans, we needed to make sure they understood there was a great console experience coming, in addition toMetroid: Samus Returns coming on Nintendo 3DS.
That’s what we wanted to make sure it was clear that it wasn’t one or the other, that we were going to support both of our platforms with a great new Metroid experience.
Some Nintendo fans are also upset with how Metroid: Samus Returns was seemingly treated poorly, not getting a Nintendo Switch port and its reveal being booted until after the Spotlight presentation. Fans just can’t be happy that we have two new Metroid games to look forward to, I guess, but Reggie also states exactly the reasons that came to my mind.
One, the Spotlight presentation was exclusively about the Nintendo Switch. No Nintendo 3DS games were shown, and two, Nintendo is supporting the Nintendo 3DS and its 66 million owners deep into 2018 at the very least.
There’s over 66 million of these devices out in the hands of consumers. From our perspective, what better way to re-engage fan love with the Metroid franchise then to create a game that’s playable on 66 million devices, and then follow along with a Metroid experience on Nintendo Switch, when at that point the install base for that system will be significantly higher than what it is today.
These fans might not have been around to remember that Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion made perfect companion pieces for one another back in 2002.
Either way, be happy! We’re getting two new Metroid games, and Nintendo still loves Metroid. That’s all that matters. Time to find a new series to whine about. Metroid: Samus Returns will be released for the Nintendo 3DS on Sept. 15. Metroid Prime 4 will be coming to the Nintendo Switch at a TBA date.