In July of 2015, Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Donkey Kong, Mario, and Pikmin, told the press in an interview that Pikmin 4 is “actually very close to completion,” and that “Pikmin teams are always working on the next one.” However, we’re now in the second half of 2022 with no information about a fourth numbered game in the Pikmin franchise. Was Pikmin 4 not as far along as Miyamoto indicated? Was development scrapped, or paused, or restarted for some reason? We may never know the answer to these questions, but it is clear that Nintendo was at least working on a fourth installment of Pikmin at one time. If they didn’t completely abandon the project, could 2023 be the year we finally see the game released?
Following Miyamoto’s discussion of the game in 2015, Eurogamer confirmed his comments with Nintendo who issued a statement that “Pikmin 4 is in development.” When Hey! Pikmin was announced in late 2016, there was some speculation that it might be the game Miyamoto was referring to. However, at E3 in 2017, Miyamoto again spoke with Eurogamer and indicated he was “told not to share anything about” Pikmin 4, but nonetheless stated that “it is progressing,” making it clear that Hey! Pikmin was a separate title.
The original Pikmin released on the GameCube in 2001. The sequel, also for the GameCube, came out in 2004. The third game didn’t release until 2013 on the WiiU. Despite being released on a relatively unsuccessful console, Pikmin 3 still sold decently well. The Nintendo Switch received an updated version, Pikmin 3 Deluxe, in late 2020. In March of 2021, in their financial reporting, Nintendo indicated Pikmin 3 Deluxe had sold over 2M copies. A year after the release of Pikmin 3 Deluxe, in October 2021, Pikmin Bloom, a mobile AR game made by Niantic, was launched and is still being supported as of the publication of this article.
The Pikmin franchise has clearly been, and continues to be, supported by Nintendo despite not being one of their best selling or notable franchises. It has now been over 7 years since Miyamoto first mentioned Pikmin 4 not only being in development, but being close to finished. While it appears from his statement a couple of years later that he was clearly speaking out of turn, it does make one wonder what happened with the development of Pikmin 4, and if we might finally see the game in the coming year.
I’m hopeful that we’ll see news about Pikmin 4 in 2023. What do you think? Is Pikmin 4 a lost cause? Does the release of recent Pikmin games like Pikmin Bloom and Pikmin 3 Deluxe indicate that Nintendo’s trying to revitalize the franchise before releasing a new entry? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on the Boss Rush Discord.
SOURCES: Eurogamer, Nintendo Life
IMAGES SOURCE: Nintendo
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