Despite the general critical acclaim and moderate financial success for Metroid: Other M, Metroid series mastermind Yoshio Sakamoto is unsure about the direction for the next Metroid game. As a result, Team Ninja's future status as Samus Aran's home studio is very much up in the air.
In a recent interview where Sakamoto expressed that he couldn't "think of anything regrettable" in Other M, he also admitted that Nintendo hasn't begun to approach a decision as to Samus's next adventure and that Team Ninja isn't necessarily guaranteed to be the developing studio for the game:
As far as I'm concerned I'm willing to work with them [Team Ninja] once again if the opportunity comes but, of course, before deciding anything I have to admit I have no idea about what I should do with this Metroid franchise.
If we are going to decide the next Metroid is going to be a linear extension of Other M then Team Ninja comes first in my mind as the partner for us to collaborate with.
But if I'm going to decide that it's going to be a different story for the next Metroid adventure then depending on the skills, know-how and technology that might require, Team Ninja might not be the choice for us to collaborate with.
But once again I don't have any idea right now.
Essentially, Team Ninja's fate depends on the whims and foibles of Sakamoto, which it can't really be happy to hear. While Other M's overall reception probably wasn't enough to move Sakamoto to tears, we here at Game Rant liked the game and thought it a "smart, fun update to the Metroid formula." Nevertheless, I fully expect Nintendo to bring back Team Ninja for the next Metroid installment, as it is highly likely that Other M functioned as the first stop in another Metroid trilogy. Nintendo already rejuvenated the franchise with the Metroid Prime trilogy, so it seems natural that it would continue the trinity trend, especially now that Other M has set a whole new direction for the series. If Sakamoto truly had no regrets about the ultimate result of Other M, then it would seem very much out of character for him to suddenly replace Team Ninja and basically reboot Samus Aran again.
Obviously, there is plenty of time for Sakamoto to puzzle out whether or not the next game will be a natural linear extension of Other M. Judging by the past release rate of the console Metroid games, I wouldn't expect to see Samus reappear before 2013. But will Team Ninja be at the helm again when she does? What do you think, Ranters?
If you haven't picked it up yet (And I really think you should do so), Metroid: Other M is currently available for the Nintendo Wii.