You know Retro Studios. You might not know the name, though I’d wager the Nintendo fans do, but you certainly know their body of work when it comes to Nintendo games. This Texas based development house is responsible for the Metroid Prime line of titles and the Donkey Kong Country Returns series.
They’ve had a big hand in Nintendo’s success since the early 2000s. As such, Nintendo views them as a very close studio.
Nintendo Producer Kensuke Tanabe and Retro President Michael Kelbaugh both spoke with Official Nintendo Magazine recently about their shared history.
Kelbaugh indicated that working with Nintendo is like being in a symbiotic relationship. Sure, Retro might be making games like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, but they aren’t doing it in a bubble by themselves. Nintendo is very much there with them.
Tanabe went on to share Nintendo’s perception of the group at Retro.
We consider Retro as part of the Nintendo family and a very capable game development studio. As a Nintendo development team, they will keep working not only with SPD, but also with the teams in Kyoto. They might even work on a title that Miyamoto-san leads directly in the future.
Tanabe explained that Nintendo’s Software Planning & Development unit will continue to work with Retro.
However, the SPD team assigned to Retro is working together with them as a single team and I hope that will continue this way – on Mario Kart 7, for example, SPD staff were involved as co-ordinators. I am saying this because a very interesting and stimulating chemical reaction occurs when the two parties from different languages and cultures are united under Nintendo’s game production philosophy, and that chemical reaction results in extraordinary ideas.
Based on Retro’s work with Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country, what projects would you like to see from them lead directly by Shigeru Miyamoto? A new IP, perhaps?