After the release of Super Metroid for the SNES in 1994, fans of the series were made to wait eight whole years before they were treated to another Metroid game in the form of Metroid Prime two consoles later.
This doesn’t mean Nintendo weren’t thinking of ways to develop a Metroid game on the Nintendo 64, which succeeded the SNES. They just simply couldn’t figure out how. In an interview with GamesTM, series director, Yoshio Sakamoto, revealed what happened to “Metroid 64” and why we never saw it:
“I was actually thinking about the possibility of making a Metroid game for N64 but I felt that I shouldn’t be the one making the game. When I held the N64 controller in my hands I just couldn’t imagine how it could be used to move Samus around. So for me it was just too early to personally make a 3D Metroid at that time. Also, I know this is isn’t a direct answer to your question but Nintendo at that time approached another company and asked them if they would make an N64 version of Metroid and their response was that no, they could not.
They turned it down, saying that unfortunately they didn’t have the confidence to create an N64 Metroid game that could compare favourably with Super Metroid. That’s something I take as a complement to what we achieved with Super Metroid.”
Sakamoto declined from revealing who this mysterious developer was, and also declined from commenting on Metroid: Dread, the mysteriously-canceled game that first appeared on E3 listings years ago. He did, however, say that he would like to begin the next Metroid project from scratch.