It's been a good while since we heard any news about a new major entry to the Pikmin games. An upcoming mod/fan sequel called Pikmin: New Fortune may be just the thing to help tide things over for fans waiting for that fourth game.
Starting with the first game in 2001, Pikmin tasked players with helping Captain Olimar command the titular creatures to help him rebuild his spaceship and escape the planet (later dubbed PNF-404) before his air supply runs out. Since then, we've got two more games plus a spin-off called Hey! Pikmin. We learned from Shigeru Miyamoto that Pikmin 4 was "very close to completion" in 2015, but it hasn't been a high priority with the arrival of the Nintendo Switch. Pikmin: New Fortune is built upon the treasure-seeking and dungeon-delving engine of the second game and aims to provide "a new experience for Pikmin fans during the wait for Pikmin 4."
In this game, amateur geologist Jeepers is enlisted to chart PNF-404 by the orders of the company President, a returning character from Pikmin 2. The trailer shows us concept art for new areas and enemies, but it also gives demonstrations of three new Pikmin types: Lead, Earth, and Breadmin (based on the parasitic Bulbmin.) These three types replace the Purple and White Pikmin in order to help rebalance the game. Breadmin, for instance, combine the Purple's lack of elemental immunities and excellent carrying capacities with the White's ability to detect and dig up underground treasures.
I got the opportunity to talk to Kai and Rhey on the mod's Discord server about why they decided to make this mod. Rhey said that Pikmin 2 was their favorite game in the series and wanted to fix the issues that usually pop up when the game is criticized. They hope that making this mod will allow them to make the game "as I've always thought it was."
Of course, Nintendo is known for going after fan projects and mods, so asking the team about the possibility of being shut down or having to rebrand was a major question. I was directed to a post where Rhey says "there's no reason for anyone to care about copyright issues or a cease and desist, literally does not matter... I openly challenge Nintendo to try and shut this down, it just means they have to acknowledge Pikmin games existing in the first place."
If you'd like to follow the development of Pikmin: New Fortune, you can find the mod's Twitter here or join their Discord here. You can also follow a Pikmin 2 hack titled Pikmin: The Lost Freighter on the Discord.