Having lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding Project H.A.M.M.E.R.’s unexplained cancellation, Unseen 64‘s Tamaki has now shared insight gleaned from developers that had worked on Nintendo’s most recent Metroid titles.
That takes us from Metroid Prime Hunters, which had been originally pitched as a strictly single-player experience that would look to replicate the success that Retro Studios saw with the mainline Metroid Prime series, but now on Nintendo DS.
Nintendo Software Technology (NST) found it to be a more challenging task than initially believed, and had struggled to create an experience that would excite players. E3 2004 would see a local multiplayer mode in Hunters revealed, but further experimentation with characters and online connectivity eventually saw it shift to become the more multiplayer-orientated game that we now know.
We also learn snippets about the oft-rumoured Metroid Dread, with design documents and ideas having floated around in 2005. NST were to be considered for the game’s development, although Nintendo were waiting to see how well Hunters performed critically and with consumers.
It entered pre-production, but didn’t progress much further than a prototype. Those that reportedly saw it say that it shared a 2D sprite art style similar to Metroid Fusion, and said that Dread as a working title was dropped. The reasons as to its eventual disappearance remain unexplained.
As to E3 2015’s controversially received announcement of Metroid Prime: Federation Force, NST were never consulted about potentially leading the game’s development nor made aware of its existence beforehand. Which reiterates talk that Nintendo reduced NST as a priority studio after the events surroundingProject H.A.M.M.E.R.’s demise.