Nintendo of America COO Responds to Metroid Prime: Federation Force’s Backlash
Reggie Fils-Aime speaks out about the masses' overwhelmingly negative response to the E3 2015 trailer of Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
Nintendo is facing some heavy backlash from fans to its unveiling of Metroid Prime: Federation Force during its E3 2015 Nintendo Direct event. This isn't the first time the House of Mario had to deal with criticism in response to change, as The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was a target of naysayers throughout its development until the game launched in Dec. 2002 for Gamecube. When people say the words "Metroid" or "Metroid Prime," they usually don't think about what we saw during the Federation Force trailer. Mind you, the E3 trailer on YouTube has roughly 7,500 likes and almost 72,000 dislikes. Nevertheless, Nintendo execs remains optimistic that players will cry a different tune once they play it or see it in action (as if they'd admit otherwise).
"We're taking our great IP and transforming them and making them new again — making them fresh and appealing for the fan who feels they know the franchise. But we're giving them new things to enjoy," Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Amie told Mashable in an interview at E3.
Sorry Reg, but it looks like a children's game (not just because of its colorful visuals), and anyone old enough to confidently play any of the previous Metroid games is all grown up now. It's been five years since Metroid: Other M was released on the Wii and eight years since the last Metroid Prime title, so fans have been hoping for a new Samus adventure for quite some time. What Nintendo gave us was a multiplayer FPS for the Nintendo 3DS (because those have always been successful) that focused on cooperative/multiplayer shooting and some weird soccer-esque mechanic where you've gotta push a ball into a goal using your energy blaster.
"What the fan at home saw was something in the Metroid Prime universe that they weren't expecting. The reaction has been negative. There's no sugar coating it," Fils-Aime acknowledged. "This is an example where fans who aren't able to get their hands on the game may be at a bit of a competitive disadvantage. Everyone who has played what we are showing regarding Metroid Prime, they've come across really pleased."
I wholeheartedly disagree, Reggie. The backlash isn't because fans aren't able to try it. The backlash is because this looks like a step in the wrong direction — the DS Metroid Prime: Hunters game from 2006 looks more impressive and fun than this. Federation Force looks like a generic, indie FPS designed for the 3DS eShop that was given a Metroid makeover at the last second to help encourage sales based on its namesake. When we think Metroid, we don't think of an FPS with co-op or multiplayer. In fact, Metroid Prime 1 and 3 didn't have any multiplayer at all and both were great. Metroid has us thinking about an alien world, exploration-based gameplay and intense action. Federation Force looks like it was originally called Techno Soccer 2000 or something of that sort. The resources spent making this game could've been used towards another 2D side-scrolling sequel to Zero Mission/Fusion or even an HD remaster of the Prime trilogy for the Wii U.
"We believe that in order to propel the franchises forward, we have to be the ones to constantly challenge the paradigms, challenge the conventional wisdom, challenge what we thought was the essence of the particular franchise, and a particular form of gameplay."
Metroid Prime: Federation Force will launch for the Nintendo 3DS sometime in 2016.