Internet rumours this week pegged Bandai Namco as being the mystery studio behind Metroid Prime 4 - something multiple sources have now confirmed to Eurogamer as being accurate.
Specifically, the highly-anticipated Nintendo Switch exclusive is being developed by Bandai Namco Studios Singapore, which we understand is lead studio on the game in collaboration with Nintendo.
This studio houses some former LucasArts Singapore staff who previously worked on, among other things, the ambitious cancelled Star Wars 1313.
[UPDATE: Since publication I've heard Bandai Namco's Japan studio is also working on the project, with the intention it will now take the lead on its development while Singapore moves to focus on another Switch game]
Metroid Prime 4 was briefly announced via a logo shown during Nintendo's E3 2017 broadcast. During a media pre-briefing, journalists asked Nintendo exactly who was behind the game. Nintendo declined to reply, except to say that Retro Studios, which created the original Metroid Prime Trilogy, was not behind the project.
Since then, speculation has been rife over who was working on Metroid Prime 4, but nothing more has been announced about the game since.
It is still relatively early in the game's development - there's no suggestion Prime 4 will launch this year (which, perhaps, might just leave room for a port of the Metroid Prime Trilogy compilation to get Switch owners up to speed on the story so far).
In particular, Press-Start noted how Bandai Namco Studios Singapore staff members had not tried very hard to conceal they were working on something exciting.
Looking through their profiles, I saw staff saying they are working on a "secret" game, an "ambitious AAA title", a "very interesting unannounced project" and a game which will see "more exciting details" announced "soon (or later)!"
One staff member in particular, a lead designer, described themselves as working on an "unannounced IP (first person shooter/adventure exclusive to the Nintendo Switch)". This staff member also listed themselves as overseeing work on an exclusive Ridge Racer 8 for Switch, too - something Eurogamer has yet to also verify.
Namco is, of course, no stranger to working with Nintendo on the latter's biggest franchises. It developed Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, as well as Pokémon spin-off Pokkén Tournament for Wii U and Switch.
When contacted, a Nintendo spokesperson told Eurogamer it did not comment on rumour or speculation.
I spoke with Metroid Prime series producer Kensuke Tanabe back in 2015 about his ideas for a fourth Metroid Prime game - including which story arcs and characters from the original trilogy might crop again, and which he now considered concluded.
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