After a very Smash Bros-heavy E3 Nintendo Direct, many fans were left a little disappointed that much-anticipated titles like the 2019 main-line Switch Pokémon game, the upcoming new Yoshi title and the new Metroid Prime 4 game were completely absent. The Direct put the focus squarely on the new massive-roster-filled fighting game and Nintendo does tend to highlight one main title at E3 and throw everything behind it, and the silence regarding the new Pokémon title may be somewhat understandable considering the upcoming launch of the Let’s Go! titles, but Metroid and Yoshi? Several fans were definitely confused and perhaps even a little concerned by the fact that the two latter titles above did not even get a mention.
Speaking to IGN though, both Bill Trinen and Reggie Fils-Aime, have explained that the absence of the titles above was simply a choice that Nintendo made because the team really wanted to focus on games that would be released on the Switch in the very near future (“…between now and early 2019“). Again, speaking to IGN, the NOA president added:
“We don’t believe it’s in the fans’ best interests to tease them year after year after year about a piece of content. We want to say here it is, here’s when it’s coming, and get ready for it.”
Although this strategy does make sense generally, it may leave many a little confused as to why the titles were teased a year before (in 2017) in the first place. However, considering the context of last year’s announcements does help in making sense of it all. In the IGN article, Fils-Aime concedes that the Metroid reveal last year was a bit of an exception to the traditional Nintendo E3 strategy and it was later confirmed that the Yoshi game had been officially delayed. We should remember too that at this time last year (despite the success of Zelda Breath of the Wild) many were still unconvinced about the Switch as a console.
In fact, looking back at Nintendo’s 2017 E3 presentation you can really see that their intention was to “Wow” audiences with everything fans had been asking for: Super Mario Odyssey was given a release date, Japanese mega-hit franchises Xenoblade Chronicles (2) and Fire Emblem (Warriors) made an appearances, DLC for Zelda was explained, not to mention Kirby, a new Pokémon mainline title and Metroid Prime 4 were all announced/teased during the same show. Nintendo were really doing their best to shout: “Believe us, we are back!”.
Turns out, they were right. The Switch has had an amazing year and so this E3 Nintendo returned to their more traditional fare. Unfortunately, for those of us excited for the later releasing titles, the new strategy has left us feeling a bit like we’ve missed out, but the good news is that Nintendo confirmed that these games were definitely still in development and so hopefully we should be hearing something about them sooner rather than later.