Nintendo is the proud proprietor of dozens of legendary franchises, so it’s easy for the company to impress its fans — and let them down. Today’s Nintendo Direct live stream, held on the final day of E3 2021, was a classic amalgamation of disappointment and intrigue as only the House of Mario can deliver.
Here, we’ve transformed our sorrow into content, offering a breakdown of three games that didn’t make an appearance at Nintendo’s E3 show. So, grab your tissues and take a look at what might have been:
It’s been like four years since anyone’s heard anything about Bayonetta 3, and it’s starting to feel as if PlatinumGames is holding her hostage — or worse, as if developers have quietly killed her off, and are hoping no one calls in a wellness check.
In all likelihood, development on Bayonetta 3 is simply chugging along at a steady, yet slow, pace. PlatinumGames is busy: The studio is simultaneously working on Babylon’s Fall, a massive online co-op game with serious Demon’s Souls vibes, and it’s building its first original universe with Project GG. That’s on top of whatever Nier business developers may have, plus the remaster of The Wonderful 101 that’s in progress, backed by fans on Kickstarter. Not to mention their tongue-in-cheek game, Sol Cresta, which was announced on April Fool’s Day and is supposedly coming out this year.
The last time Bayonetta 3 was even mentioned in a Nintendo Direct, it was 2019 and all we got was a two-second promise of “more news soon.” Clearly, that was a lie. And to really rub it in, this was right after the announcement of PlatinumGames’ Astral Chain, a game that actually hit Switch just six months later.
PlatinumGames received a cash infusion from Chinese technology giant Tencent in January 2020, which should give it plenty of runway to tackle all of these projects. But just like the airport, it’s fair to expect some delays.
But for real, Bayonetta — if you can read this, send us a sign.
Metroid Prime 4
What’s the deal with game announcements in 2017? Much like Bayonetta 3, it’s been four years since Nintendo revealed Metroid Prime 4. But surprisingly, with this title, we have a better idea of what’s happening behind the scenes.
Nintendo scrapped its progress on Metroid Prime 4 in 2019 and started over from scratch with a new studio, which makes the extended silence on this one easier to swallow. US-based Retro Studios is now working on Metroid Prime 4, and all we know so far is that it’s different than the original version (of which we also knew very little).
Back in 2019, producer Kensuke Tanabe explained the decision to start over on Metroid Prime 4, saying, “It will be a long road until the next time we will be able to update you on the development progress, and development time will be extensive.”
At least we can’t say they didn’t warn us.
As it stands, Metroid Prime 4 has been in development for two and a half years, rather than four, but that’s still plenty of time to leave fans hanging. It’s still slated to launch exclusively on Nintendo Switch. Eventually.
This one is perhaps the most forgivable on the list, since Nintendo only announced Splatoon 3 this year — but maybe that’s what makes it the least forgivable. Splatoon represents Nintendo’s future, offering a shiny competitive universe with colorful shooting mechanics and a reliance on online play, and it’s one of the most in-demand franchises on the Switch.
Splatoon 3 is set to launch in 2022, and Nintendo’s E3 show was the ideal opportunity to answer fan questions and get the game in front of some fresh eyeballs. However, there were no splats to be had.
And hey, while we’re here, Pokemon Legends Arceus deserves a special shout out. Sure, it already has a release date, but that’s coming up soon and Pokemon is always a showstopper. And of course, there’s the elephant in the live stream — Nintendo failed to even hint at new Switch hardware, a rumor that set the mill ablaze ahead of E3. The company did reveal a new Game & Watch, at least.
Don’t call us bitter, but these were just a few of the things that we were particularly excited to see at Nintendo’s E3 2021 showcase, and it’s a bummer to still be in the dark on these details.
At least Bayonetta is here to keep us company.
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