Originally announcing this back in 2019, Nintendo and Retro Studios’ Metroid Prime 4 is still under development, and a recent developer job listing states that the studio is now looking for an environmental artist to work on organic assets. Although very little is known about the next Prime title, some tidbits of information have been gleaned from available materials.
Judging by this particular job listing, Metroid Prime 4 may well turn out to be a far cry from the franchise’s previous flagship game, Metroid Dread. Namely, Retro Studios needs an environment artist who will create “various organic props” for the game, including (but not limited to) rocks, cliffs, trees and various foliage, which in appearance sharply compares specifically with Dread. this.
In particular, it seems that Retro Studios hopes to find a reputable and experienced environment artist, since the team needs someone who has already worked on creating props for other projects, preferably an artist who has released “one high-quality game,” according to the list. Retro Studios wants to see a strong portfolio showcasing the landscape composition experience, as the artist seems to be working with woodlands or perhaps even jungles. Although Nintendo says nothing about Metroid Prime 4, this list can be interpreted as saying that the game takes place in a rougher and less artificial environment than in the case of Dread.
The listing may also indicate that Metroid Prime 4 will not be released in the near future, as the creation of assets takes a lot of time to unwind. This applies doubly to the case of hiring a new artist, who, apparently, will also need to go through the registration procedure at the studio to ensure the consistency of assets and the like. In any case, Retro Studios is clearly looking for highly qualified specialists for this job, and it seems that the studio has high hopes for any potential candidates.
Earlier this year, Retro Studios posted a list of vacancies related to Metroid Prime 4 on ArtStation, and at that time the studio was already looking for environmental artists. Despite the fact that the new Prime name was announced many years ago, all these job listings and (presumably) subsequent hires suggest that development really didn’t gain momentum until relatively recently, which in turn may mean that the game is even further away than before. many would have thought.
It is also curious that Retro Studios may be aiming to make Metroid Prime 4 visually different from Metroid Prime, and this requires artists specializing in organic materials and the natural environment. After all, Metroid Prime is the best—selling game in the Metroid series, so it was to be expected that Retro Studios would follow in its footsteps. Of course, this may still be the case, but the list of recommended vacancies has interesting implications, to say the least.
Metroid Prime 4 is in development for the Nintendo Switch.