Reggie on his push for Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, was controversial since “our developers hated to give away content for free”
Those that picked up an early DS unit may recall the pack-in experience Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt. Instead of going with a complete game, this was more of a demo that offered a look into what the final product would become.
Even though it wasn’t a full title, it turns out there was some controversy when it came to offering it to consumers. Former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime mentioned in his newly-released book that “our developers hated to give away content for free”. Thankfully, the late Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto both signed off on the idea.
Reggie’s full words:
“Metroid Prime had been a strong selling franchise on GameCube in our market, and leveraging the franchise to launch Nintendo DS would help us get off to a fast start. Unfortunately, development was not proceeding as fast as we hoped so I advocated an alternative: the development team should pivot and create a standalone demo we would include with the first units of Nintendo DS hardware. This was controversial as our developers hated to give away content for free, and having the development team work on a demo would push the launch of the complete game back at least six months. I was already building trust with Mr. Iwata and Mr. Miyamoto, and they agreed for a demo called Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt to be included in the first few million units of Nintendo DS sold in the Americas.”
Although Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt was ready for the DS’ launch, the main game wouldn’t arrive until much later. Nintendo finally released it March 2006. Nintendo did delay the game in August 2005 to add online functionality.