For years fans pestered Nintendo about the return of Metroid – or more accurately the return of Metroid as they knew and loved it. Recent shaky entries Other M and Federation Force admirably tried different things, but neither succeed and the franchise appeared to be in jeopardy.
These recent entries only intensified the desire among fans of space-faring bounty hunter Samus Aran to see her return to her tried and tested 2D side-scrolling roots, or the successful first-person shooter incarnation of Metroid Prime.
This year Nintendo answered the call, announcing two new Metroid titles at E3 in June.
One of them, Metroid: Samus Returns, launches in September on Nintendo 3DS, but fans will have to wait a while longer for Metroid Prime 4 on Nintendo Switch.
Each is a continuation of what has proven to work for the series, and if Samus Returns is any indication, they'll push the series forwards as well.
Suddenly Metroid has an immediate future again and it's this that series co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto discussed with Eurogamer at Gamescom 2017.
Asked about Other M – the Wii game that fell far short of Nintendo's sales expectations – Sakamoto said there was no plan to approach Metroid in the same plot and character-driven way.
"That had a different narrative and it's own expression of a Metroid game," he said. "Right now we don't have any plans to reiterate the same approach. It's important we keep making something which is new and refreshing to keep the exciting for the series. And to use the past to keep things refreshing rather than get bogged down and simply reproducing the past."
Samus Returns is a remake of 1991's Metroid 2: The Return of Samus, but it radically overhauls what the game was and appears to realise the original game's core concepts in a way the GameBoy's hardware didn't allow at the time.
Sakamoto reveald he'd like to move on to "something new" next, rather than another remake. That might not necessarily mean a new Metroid, however.
"I'm also considering completely new avenues. I can just say I'm thinking about it - and I'll keep the rest as a surprise!"
Metroid: Samus Returns will be released for Nintendo 3DS on 15 September.