When the upcoming Metroid Dread title was announced by Nintendo, Metroid developer Yoshio Sakamoto stated that the new Nintendo Switch game would "mark an end to that story arc," concluding the story of Samus Aran and her connection with the various creatures on the planets that set the scene for the 35-year-long storyline. But by ending that story arc, does this mean Nintendo will no longer be making Metroid games? What's next for the franchise?
Is 'Metroid Dread' the last 'Metroid' game?
Despite being dubbed "Metroid 5," Metroid Dread is actually a direct sequel to the 2002 GameBoy Advance game Metroid Fusion and brings about the end of the current ongoing Metroid arc (though Zero Mission was released in 2004 and is part of the current arc, its storyline takes place before the events of Metroid Fusion). Metroid Dread was announced during Nintendo's E3 presentation in June 2021 — a surprise announcement, as fans of the franchise are still waiting for Metroid Prime 4.
“So regarding the end of the Metroid saga and the five-part saga, the Metroid story until this point has dealt with Samus’ strange fate that’s been intertwined around this being called the Metroid,” Yoshio told IGN after the E3 presentation. “And until now that has been the focus of the series, but what [Metroid Dread] represents is a bit of a pause or kind of a new start to something else.”
After a many-year hiatus, players are curious as to what could possibly be next for Samus.
'Metroid Dread' will not mark the end of Samus' legacy, though.
While the Metroid games have had a bit of a hiatus recently, this "conclusion" of the original saga does not mean the end of the series. Instead, this is giving the franchise an opportunity to take it in a new direction.
Nintendo has not yet announced what direction the series will take after both of the new Metroid games are released, though it's likely Samus will take on an entirely new arc.
“Nobody wants the Metroid series to end, and we know that. We ourselves don’t want that either, but we just want people to know that there is some kind of new episode that is waiting in the works,” Yoshio told IGN. “And we want you to look forward with what we do with that next, but there are no specifics now.”
The previous Metroid games are spread out over the past few decades, dating all of the way back to 1986. if you're looking to catch up with the games before the new installment comes out, there are a couple of options to revisit some of the older games.
The original Metroid game is available through the NES classics with a Nintendo online membership, while those with a 3DS can play Metroid: Samus Returns. If you are part of the 3DS Ambassador Program or have a Wii U, you can also get access to Metroid Fusion.
Metroid Dread will release for the Nintendo Switch on Oct. 8, 2021.