Nintendo Responds to Metroid Prime: Federation Force Backlash, Says it Knows What Fans Want

Reggie Fils-Aime suggests Nintendo is waiting for the right moment to reveal more traditional Metroid game.


Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has addressed the negative fan response to Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a new Nintendo 3DS game revealed at E3 2015.

The title, which is being developed by Next Level Games, creator of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, with Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe overseeing the project, is a co-operative shooter with a chibi visual style.

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Fans of the Metroid Prime series have been clamouring for another exploration-focused entry from Retro Studios, or something in line with the classical 2D side-scrolling roots of the series, for many years.

As a result, the reaction to Federation Force's gameplay and visual departures has been somewhat negative.

Speaking to Kotaku, Fils-Aime said Nintendo knows what its fans want, but "will also push the envelope in developing something that we know is high-quality and that we know will deliver in the marketplace."

Fils-Aime drew a comparison to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, which also received backlash from fans complaining about its cel-shaded visual style.

"Remember when that art style was first shown. The uproar from the Zelda community was intensely negative. If there had been social media then, there probably would have been a petition to make that game go away."

Later in the interview, the Nintendo exec indicated the platform holder was aware fans wanted a more traditional Metroid game, and suggested the company was picking its moment to deliver it.

"Look, we know that the fans want a straight Samus Aran game," he said. "We also know that the best way to launch a game like that is to surprise and delight them, to give them a launch date, in an environment like this let them play it versus what other companies do, which is to announce a project that you may not see for five, six years. It’s just not the way we do things."

He added: "We know the community wants to see a straight-up Metroid game. We know it.”

Metroid Prime: Federation Force will also feature Blast Ball, a 3v3 competitive game where teams compete to shoot a large ball into a goal. Both games are reminiscent of Metroid Prime Hunters, the first-person Nintendo DS game from 2006.

The game is scheduled for release in 2016. Nintendo has not clarified whether there's a single-player component, or if Federation Force and Blast Ball are multiplayer experiences only.

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