Nintendo blew our collective minds earlier this summer when it finally announced the return of the Metroid Prime franchise, with a fourth installment currently being developed for release on the Nintendo Switch. Today, though, we learned who the development team behind the game just might be.
According to this Reddit report, the team behind the forthcoming Prime revival could be none other than Bandai Namco Games. The team appears to be working alongside long-time Metroid series producer Kensuke Tanabe with putting the game together. What's more, we could be seeing first footage of the project sooner rather than later.
"Metroid Prime 4 should have something revealed with some in-game footage early next year from what I've heard," the source noted. "I'm hearing that Direct in January particularly. Bandai Namco is developing the game for Nintendo." That said, they did note they didn't know specifically which studio at Bandai Namco was working on the game.
Now, take it with a grain of salt. Bandai Namco hasn't said anything officially about the game (nor Nintendo), and it seems like a quirky choice for such a storied franchise. However, we've seen Bandai Namco work its magic on Nintendo franchise before. The developer worked on StarFox Assault on the GameCube several years ago, and also had a hand in development creating Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – and Pac-Man's in there as proof.
Some people have been wondering, "Well, why not Retro Studios?" A good question. But with the rumor that a new Donkey Kong game could be coming to Switch, they may be busy working on that.
If – and it's a big if – this rumor does end up coming true, and we see first footage of Metroid early next year, Nintendo could be, ahem, Prime-ing it for a big 2018 release on the Switch. It'd make an ideal holiday seller, if it could be done in enough time. For now, though, we'll just have to see what the company has planned, as it hasn't announced too much of its line-up for next year yet, save for new Kirby, Yoshi and Pokemon games.