Retro Is (Probably) Secretly Working On Metroid Wii U
Metroid Wii U is probably the greatest mystery about Nintendo’s console right now. We haven’t heard a word about Metroid in almost a hundred years, but don’t fret: Basically the only thing that we know is that, as Kotaku found out, both 2D Metroid and 3D Metroid will return—eventually. So Metroid Wii U is coming—in fact, odds are that Retro Studios, the makers of Metroid Prime, are working on it right now. But that doesn’t mean it’s coming soon, so don’t get your hopes up. If you’re buying a Wii U for Smash Bros, you can trust that Metroid is coming, but… don’t go adding it to your shopping list for Christmas. Instead, check out this awesome commercial for Metroid Prime:
Metroid Wii U Release Date
Metroid has always been, in some sense, the most hardcore of Nintendo’s flagship series. Zelda appeals to everyone, but Metroid is a bit more serious, less light, usually more difficult. It’s more like Mass Effect than Mario, and it can draw those serious gamers in. And that’s exactly why it always seems to get short shrift—that demographic hasn’t been Nintendo’s focus for a long time. But the company recently announced a pivot back to the hardcore. Wii U is going to look and feel more like a serious gamer’s console, something the Wii lost in its massive success. And that means Metroid is going to get the attention it deserves, like it did back in the GameCube days.
We know Nintendo won’t abandon Metroid, in either its handheld or console forms—they’ve told us as much. And we know that Nintendo thinks that Metroid: Other M was a step in the wrong direction—it flopped as hard as flagship Nintendo games can ever flop. And that’s why it seems very likely that Metroid Wii U will be a return to form—perhaps even a return to Metroid Prime, perhaps with the start of a new storyline.
After all, the makers of Metroid Prime—Retro Studios—are finally free to work on a new Metroid game. For the latter half of the Wii era, they were working on Donkey Kong Country Returns, an excellent (and very difficult) game that revitalized another long-suffering Nintendo series. And then, after helping out on Mario Kart 7, they did a sequel, to many people’s chagrin: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, for Wii U. That just came out this February. Since then, Retro has been working on a “secret project.” In fact, they started the project at least a few months earlier than that, and this summer they went on a hiring spree for it. That process continues; they are hiring gameplay engineers with experience working in 3D spaces and AI engineers to design for enemies and bosses. That in itself doesn’t tell us much. Many of the positions also require AAA game experience, which also isn’t surprising. Point is, they’re working on something—something big. And Nintendo has a track record of letting its teams do what they do best.
Will it be Metroid Wii U? Is Metroid Wii U even in development? These questions aren’t answerable—Nintendo has a super secretive culture for a reason. But considering Retro’s past track record, the failure of the one modern Metroid game they didn’t make, and simple logic, I would guess that Metroid Wii U is, in fact, in development right now at Retro Studios. Maybe we’ll even hear about it at E3 2015.
Whether we do or not, there will be a Metroid Wii U—someday.