It’s possible that the development of Metroid Prime 4 is moving smoothly at Retro Studios, but from the outside looking in, it’s a pretty big question mark. Retro Studios tweeted out today to note that it is still looking to hire a lead producer for the game, a job position that was posted online back on May 11. Honestly, it’s perfectly reasonable that such an important role for the game’s development wouldn’t be filled in the blink of an eye, but what might be more concerning is that the game needs a lead producer at all at this point in development.
Retro further has a job opening for a lead graphics engineer that is dated April 26, 2019 and a lead animator position posted Nov. 6, 2019. These are substantial roles that have been left vacant for a dramatic length of time, and while those job listings don’t explicitly mention Metroid Prime 4, it’s not unreasonable to think they are connected.
— Retro Studios (@RetroStudios) August 14, 2020
That’s not to say that there have been no hires for Metroid Prime 4 recently though. On the contrary, Retro Studios has done some major hiring, including of 343 Industries’ Kyle Hefley as lead character artist, EA Dice Art Director Jhony Ljungstedt as senior art director, and Playful’s Mark Capers and Crysis 3‘s James Beech as environment designers. Big talent is assembling at this studio.
Metroid Prime 4 could prove to be another defining first-person adventure experience. But at the current rate, I wouldn’t be shocked if it becomes a cross-generational title for Switch and a next-gen Switch, fulfilling the same role that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild once did.