There was a lot to get excited about during Nintendo’s E3 presentation this week, but one game was conspicuously absent: Metroid Prime 4. Nintendo announced the game at E3 last year with no details beyond the title, and many fans were hoping to hear more about it at the company’s presentation on Tuesday. According to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé, there’s a very specific reason why the company announced Metroid last year, even though it was still so early in development.
“Last year with Metroid Prime 4, it was important to highlight for the Metroid fan that that franchise was going to come to Nintendo Switch, so that we could also share Metroid: Samus Returns for the 3DS, and not have them be so disappointed that a mainline Metroid experience isn’t coming,” he tells The Verge. Fils-Aimé added that the company prefers to focus its marketing efforts on games that will be available in the near-term, hence Prime 4’s absence from this year’s event. "There’s an exception to every rule,” he says of the choice to reveal the game in 2017.
As for the status of Metroid Prime 4? “It’s still in development,” he says. “It’s progressing well, and we’ll share more at the appropriate time.” In the meantime, at least fans can now play as the Metroid villain Ridley in the new Super Smash Bros Ultimate.