During an interview with the Senior Producer of Metroid Prime 3, it was revealed that the game was originally pitched as an Open World
During an interview, Metroid Prime 2 and 3 Senior Producer Bryan Walker unveiled some information on Metroid Prime 3 which could potentially hint at plans for Metroid Prime 4.
During an interview with KIWI TALKZ, Walker briefly touched on the development for Metroid Prime 3 stating: "Mark (Metroid Prime Trilogy Director) came forward with an interesting twist in the vision and some of the formulas for Metroid Prime 3 as compared to Metroid Prime 2. We wanted to a greater degree leverage the ship as a playable asset for instance. Mark was thinking much more ambitiously. Perhaps there was also an open world, less linear that he (Mark) was proposing."
He continued: “We weren’t able to prototype a lot of those because they were really big. We did have some ship prototypes, but the open-world one was much bigger.
“In fact, Mark printed out as one of his visual aids this origami Samus ship. He had taken the mesh of the Samus ship and used a program that basically unfolded it into what he could then turn into a paper model. So we had this cardboard Samus ship that he had coloured in and it looked great! I think we could sell it today.”
Eventually, the plans were scrapped and only heavily scripted ship sequences made it to the final Prime 3 game. One potential reason for the u-turn was the unexpected hardware specs of the Wii, which Walker said Retro was expecting to be far more powerful.
“We knew what the Xbox 360 was going to have, when knew what the PS3 was going to have and the initial specs we were looking at [for Wii] were not competitive from a hardware and memory standpoint… there were all these disadvantages,” he said.