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Nintendo restarts Metroid Prime 4 development with series originator Retro Studios

Nintendo revealed Friday that it is scrapping current development of the long-awaited Metroid Prime 4 and completely restarting the game's production with series originator Retro Studios out of Austin.

Nintendo's planning and development boss Shinya Takahashi announced Friday that the company is scrapping current development of Metroid Prime 4 and restarting production with the Metroid Prime series' original developer, Austin-based Nintendo subsidiary Retro Studios.

A new game in the Metroid Prime series has been long-awaited by fans, and Metroid Prime 4's development restart, and resulting delay, means that Nintendo will have a large Metroid Prime-shaped hole in its release schedule for years to come.

Takahashi said in a video announcement that the lack of real progress on the game has been "regrettable."

"The current development process has not reached the standards we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series," Takahashi said. 

He said the current development status of the game is "very challenged," and said the shift in development studios was a "difficult decision."

Nintendo has never confirmed the studio that was initially working on Metroid Prime 4.

While Retro is taking the reins, Metroid Prime 4 producer Kensuke Tanabe will still be overseeing development. Takahashi made it clear that Retro will be restarting development on the game "from the beginning."

Metroid Prime 4 was originally teased at E3 in June 2017, with no other development update since. Takahashi did not give a window for a release date, only saying that "development time will be extensive."

Retro is responsible for three Metroid Prime games: Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, all of which were highly-rated, well-received 3D interpretations of the Metroid series.

Retro's latest game was Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze for Nintendo Switch.

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