Many fans expecting a Metroid Prime 4 reveal at Nintendo’s E3 this year were left severely disappointed. After the tiniest tease at E3 last year a lot of people were expecting to see at least a cinematic trailer of some sorts. However, Nintendo spent the majority of their E3 conference on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Since that they have streamed multiple gameplay videos from the Nintendo Treehouse, but Metroid Prime 4 is nowhere to be found.
In order to stop disappointed fans from rampaging all over the internet, Reggie Fils-Aime has clarified as to why the game was missing at E3 this year. He states in an interview with Polygon that “We believe it is not fair to the fan to repeatedly tease them over time about a game, that’s why we tend to focus close in, typically in a six- to nine-month timeframe, and go deep in sharing content and information on a particular piece of content.”
In another interview, with the Verge, he explains why they made an exception to that rule last year when teasing Metroid Prime 4. He says “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 further confirms that the game is of course still in development and has not been canceled without telling anybody.
This mindset when releasing/revealing games is what we mostly see from Nintendo. They don’t often reveal games that are still years away from being released, compared to other companies that sometimes have a tendency to do so. This is also why we won’t see any information on a generation 8 Pokémon game at this year’s E3 since the game is still more than a year away from being released. Overall I think the system works in Nintendo’s favor as the best way to hype up the customers is to show them a release date that’s in the same year as the announcement trailer. It’s no use teasing a game every year that will still be in development for 5 more years, looking at you Crackdown 3.