It’s been quite a long road for Metroid Dread. Originally pegged as a Nintendo DS sequel to Metroid Fusion early in the 2000s, the game would become the poster child for projects that were considered in development hell, only rumored and never officially announced for well over a decade. After multiple cancellations and a hidden tease in 2007’s Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Dread essentially disappeared again, with many worried about its potential future considering the controversy that Metroid: Other M created after it launched.
Somehow, Nintendo managed to keep its development with MercurySteam a secret until its reveal last year, reigniting the fan base thanks to Metroid Dread‘s classic side scrolling style. Set after the events of Metroid Fusion, Dread brings about a conclusion to the classic 2D storyline, bringing back the exploration style gameplay and mixing in stealth moments against nearly indestructible robots known as the EMMI. Clearly the gameplay resonated with players and critics as not only did the game score plenty of positive reviews, but it also sold incredibly well.
After breaking sales records at launch, Metroid Dread continued to climb the chart, bypassing every other game in the franchise except one. By February 2022, Metroid Dread was firmly in second place behind the GameCube’s Metroid Prime. Thanks in large part to the strong word of mouth as well as continued content updates with smaller DLC like Boss Rush and Dread Mode, fans have continued to support the title and further push its sales.
With the fiscal year now over, Nintendo has confirmed that Metroid Dread has sold over 2.9 million copies since it originally launched back in October 2021. This makes it the top-selling Metroid game in the franchise worldwide. Interestingly enough, the large bulk of those sales have come outside of Nintendo’s home market of Japan. According to the data, Metroid Dread has only sold around 270,000 copies, with the rest of the 2.63 million coming from the rest of the world.
Thankfully, fans don’t need to wonder if or when they’ll be seeing Samus Aran again, as Metroid Prime 4 is currently in active development. Unfortunately, Nintendo has been highly secretive regarding the project after announcing it through a logo reveal back in 2017, with reports indicating that the game has experienced plenty of development troubles. Ultimately, Metroid Prime 4 has found its way back to Retro Studios, the development house that modernized the classic franchise for the Gamecube and Wii. With the summer rapidly approaching, fans are hoping that Nintendo’s annual summer Direct may finally reveal actual details regarding the mysterious Metroid Prime 4.
Metroid Dread is available now for Nintendo Switch.