Many fans are hoping for a Metroid Prime Trilogy port for the Switch while they wait for the much anticipated Metroid Prime 4. However, the former senior designer of all three Metroid Prime games has given word on why it would be incredibly difficult to port the Prime Trilogy to the Switch.
Mike Wikan, the aforementioned senior game designer, explains that Retro no longer has the editor tools for the Prime codebase. The motion controls in Prime 3 would be difficult to translate into conventional controls.
i was a lead designer on all 3 original games, ran the Trilogy compilation project, was a lead designer on Donkey Kong Country Returns. The biggest issue is Retro no longer has functional editor tools to work with the Prime code base, so everything has to be “brute force” hard coded. Rebuilding the hundreds of interaction sets in MP3 alone, not to mention retuning the game play to take in the slower engagement pacing of conventional control would probably take a year with a 4-5 person team full time by itself.
i built all those games, lol, and the gyro can’t do it. I suspect that old GameStop listing was an error or prank.
That would take a lot of effort, so I am pretty skeptical it will happen. It was straightforward to update MP1 and 2 to Motion controls, but converting MP3 to normal controls would be a herculean effort, as it is scripted very specifically using volumetric triggers to detect the motion in precise manners to do specific switches, and the bosses are tuned to take into account the ease of gestural aiming.
Michael Wikan via Facebook
It’s interesting to note that Skyward Sword HD has successfully mapped all the motion controls to sticks and button presses, so it’s questionable by it’s a big issue for the Metroid Prime 3.
There has also been a suggestion that the game could simply be ported through emulation and remap the controls.
However, I am not a game designer, so I will simply have to take Wikan’s word for it, which is a saddening prospect.
With that said, while it is difficult to accomplish, it is not impossible. However, with Metroid having a smaller fan base than other Nintendo franchises, it’s up in the air if it’s worth going through the effort of making a Switch port of the Metroid Prime Trilogy.
Metroid Prime 4 is currently in development and no details have been provided, with the exception that it restarted development under Retro Studios in January 2019.