Nintendo is a company that has traditionally been protective of their IP, rejecting and heavily controlling the appearance of their characters. Although things have loosen up in recent times with games like Mario+Rabbids, it was strict back then to the point that not even Sega was able to convince Nintendo to allow them to make a Metroid game.
Speaking to Edge, Sega’s Toshihiro Nagoshi talked about his prolific career in game development, and how it was hard to secure the development of a Nintendo franchise. Sega eventually got the opportunity to work on F-Zero GX, but as for their Metroid proposal, it never materialised into anything.
It’s hard to describe, but when I’d say about some part of the game, “It’s okay like this, isn’t it?” they’d say, “Our company does not allow this kind of thing. Ever.” I didn’t manage to change their minds about anything. Not even once. But that’s why Nintendo has such a solid brand, even after all these years. That is why we lost the hardware war.
I really liked the Super Famicom game, and while we made a few proposals – Metroid for instance, and others – I was most confident in making a driving game because of my experience in the genre, though I’d never make a sci-fi one.