Metroid Prime 4 development was going so badly, Nintendo is starting over

For all those wondering why we haven’t heard much out of the Metroid Prime 4 camp since the title was announced at E3 2017 (with an admittedly underwhelming trailer), Nintendo just offered a surprisingly frank answer. Senior Managing Executive Officer Shinya Takahashi appeared in a video to explain that game development thus far has failed to live up to the company’s standards.

As such, the company is changing studios, returning Retro, which developed earlier entries in the Prime franchise. Retro producer Kensuke Tanabe will essentially be starting things over from scratch.

“This change will essentially mean restarting development from the beginning,” Takahashi explained, addressing the camera in a somber, apologetic tone, “so the completion of the game will be delayed from our initial internal plan. We strongly recognize that this delay will come as a disappointment to the many fans who have been looking forward to the launch of Metroid Prime 4.”

It’s a blow for one of Nintendo’s best-loved franchises — especially considering how long the game has been in the works. The move is also a highly unusual one for the company, including a very public apology. But in spite of a bit of a black eye in all of this, there’s something to be said for the exacting standards that would lead Nintendo to make such a difficult decision.