Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime teases that classic Nintendo franchises could return on the Nintendo Switch, including the Metroid series.
For a decade now, fans have been clamoring for a proper new Metroid game, either in the form of a Metroid Prime followup or a throwback to the franchise's 2D side-scrolling roots, as opposed to the poorly received spinoffs that Nintendo has released in recent years. Some were hoping to see a new Metroid revealed during the Nintendo Switch January 12th presentation, but after the event came and went with no sign of Samus Aran, fans were left disappointed. However, if recent comments by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime are any indication, there may still be hope to see Metroid come to the Switch.
Speaking with GameSpot at a Nintendo Switch hands-on event in New York City, Reggie pointed out how he is always asked about games like Metroid and Mother 3 (EarthBound in North America). Instead of simply stating that he had nothing to announce, however, Reggie teased that by the same time next year, the world may know about a new Metroid games.
"But we are aware that there are some key IP that consumers just can't wait for the next true installment in that franchise's legacy. Suffice it to say, we're aware of it, and talk to me in a year and let's look back and see what's happened."
While it's wise to take Reggie's comments with a grain of salt, it's also worth pointing out that he is one of Nintendo's most prominent executives. Reggie likely knows of many projects that are currently in development for the Nintendo Switch, and since Metroid's primary development studio, Retro, is stationed in North America, one has to imagine that he makes regular visits to see what it's working on. If anyone at Nintendo of America knew about a new Metroid game, it would be Reggie.
The timing just seems right for Retro Studios to announce a new Metroid game. After all, it's been three years since Retro launched Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze to rave reviews, and the studio has been quiet about whatever it's been working on since then. We know that Retro is working on a new game, and considering the studio's past success with creating Metroid titles, it makes sense for Nintendo to trust it with creating the first Metroid game on the Nintendo Switch.
Furthermore, Nintendo has said in the past that there wouldn't be any new Metroid games on a home console until the Switch released, with the franchise skipping Wii U entirely. While this isn't an exact confirmation that a new Metroid is in the works for Nintendo's new console, it does make it seem more likely, especially after Reggie's latest comments.
If Reggie is serious about his Metroid tease, then the perfect time to announce it will be at E3 2017 in June. In recent years, Nintendo has had a reduced presence at the show, opting for strange puppet shows to tease its products over traditional press conferences. Perhaps this year's E3 will see Nintendo return to the press conference format, especially if it has a bombshell like a new Metroid game up its sleeve.
Metroid is unannounced, but could be in development for Nintendo Switch.