News Article

Retro Could Work On Miyamoto-Led Project In The Future, Says Nintendo Producer Kensuke Tanabe

Posted by Damien McFerran

"We consider Retro as part of the Nintendo family"

Retro Studios has become one of Nintendo's most important associated teams, having produced the likes of Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country Returns — both of which gained critical and commercial acclaim.

Retro Studios president Michael Kelbaugh and Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe have been talking to Official Nintendo Magazine about the working relationship between the two companies, with Kelbaugh explaining a little more about how each project works:

Tanabe-san and his team at SPD [Nintendo Software Planning & Development] are our primary contacts at Nintendo. Please let me be clear: games developed at Retro Studios are a collaboration between members from Retro Studios, SPD and other entities throughout the Nintendo family. It’s a symbiotic relationship that consists of members from all over the world; we are very honoured to be working with such a talented team.

When we worked on Mario Kart 7, we were working on Tropical Freeze at the same time. Part of the team was working on creating assets for Hideki Konno’s group, the Mario Kart team, and part of our team continued making progress on Tropical Freeze in conjunction with Tanabe-san and SPD.

Tanabe reveals that Retro is held in very high regard indeed — so much so that he believes the studio could end up working on a game led by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto himself:

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.

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.

How would you feel about Miyamoto working directly with Retro on a new project? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


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User Comments (66)



Kifa said:

I feel great about that as long as it's a new 3D Metroid... ;P



McHaggis said:

I'd prefer a classic Metroid game, perhaps 2.5D, since we haven't seen the likes of that since Zero Mission on the GBA. Of course, I wouldn't say "no" to a Wii U Metroid game as good as the Prime trilogy.



Kifa said:

@McHaggis Well, "Other M" fills up the definitione of 2,5D game pretty well IMO, and I wouldn't want another game made like that. It just feels a waste to create a restricted world when the console itself allows for something much more complex.



ACK said:

I want a Metroid pet simulator. Like, you could use the GamePad's camera to let them feed on your head. And poke them. Then they could grow and even latch onto your guests.

How utterly adorable would that be?



Artwark said:

Retro is doing really well for Nintendo. Can't wait for the next game from them.



Mk_II said:

Could this be a hint that they are already working on Miyamoto's "new IP"?



ThreadShadow said:

Miyamoto+Retro Studios sounds great to me for any project be it Metroid 11, or a Zelda game, even StarFox, or StarTropics!

And just because a Metroid game is in First-person doesn't mean it has to be called "Prime". It could just be called Metroid 11.

Retro Studios understood Metroid better then anyone else, maybe even Nintendo themselves, so I'd like to see another Metroid from them. I'm certainly not against someone else having a go.

I think Armature has a cancelled Megaman game they could retool into a cool Metroid game. And I think a Metroid game with a TRON aesthetic would be really cool. Some type of adventure on a "Tech" type world.

I'd also like to see Object Vision Software (Aya and the Cubes of Light - wiiware) given a chance to polish up their concept and turn it into a puzzle-like 2.5D Metroid game. There is a demo on Wii Shop Channel. It's solid and with Nintendo's guidance could be a winner of a downloadable Metroid game.

I'd like to see Renegade Kid, WayForward, and ChAIR get a shot at side-scrolling 2D/2.5D Metroid games, and speaking of ChAIR....

I'd like to see a First-person/and or Third-person Metroid game from EPIC. There was a rumour a while ago about it and I'd like to see's not like Nintendo wouldn't be supervising anyway.

And lastly VALVe could potentially make an interesting Metroid game. Also a fun Metroid/Portal crossover side-game would be great. Samus versus GLaDOS. Maybe another short side game with a Metroid/Half-Life cross over!
Those cross-overs would remain officially non-canon.



Thearnaud44 said:

@Kifa How about YES! Nintendo never does any direct online multiplayer games and this one would be a perfect start. All they need to do is copy the controls of COD that is on Wii U, make the magical Metroid Prime singleplayer we all know and love and add an online multiplayer mode. And since it's made by Retro then you know it's gonna be good. Also they should try to be as creative as possible and it should be something similar to metroid blast in nintendoland.

BTW may I ask ehy you are against online multiplayer for metroid prime IV???



AJWolfTill said:

As much as I love Miyamoto I do like games with strong storylines and I feel Retro would be far more likely to make one than most internal studios, as a result I'm not sure about this team-up. Having said that, Pikmin 3 has a very food mix of narative and gameplay.



McHaggis said:

@Kifa Other M wasn't 2.5D―a term that was coined for 3D games that restrict movement to a 2D plane―, and it certainly wasn't what anyone would consider a classic Metroid game. I'm talking side-scrolling, more akin to Super Metroid, but with some nice 2.5D camera panning, perhaps.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the Prime Trilogy and I even enjoyed Other M, albeit to a lesser extent. But we've had 4 3D Metroid games since the last 2D game (Zero Mission), so I'd be happier if the games returned to their roots now. Or, perhaps they could work on a 2.5D game for the 3DS whilst creating the next cinematic 3D game for the Wii U, I certainly wouldn't argue .



Kyloctopus said:

Just keep making games.
To be honest, I have no preference for what they make. The third Donkey Kong Country game? Super Donkey Kong 3D World? Metroid U? F-Zero UX? A new IP? Whatever it is, it will be fun.
Although I think they're done with Metroid. Alot of people left Retro after Prime 3 and I believe they even said they're not making another Metroid game in an interview.



NintyMan said:

Retro of course has Nintendo's trust, and this reminds me of another interview in which Tanabe said that Retro would consider a broader range of possibilities for their next project rather than just Donkey Kong Country.



MrGawain said:

"When we worked on Mario Kart 7, we worked on Tropical Freeze at the same time".

Mario Kart was released in 2011, which just goes to show you how long Nintendo take to develop a game. DKTF isn't a rush job. Also when people say 'Make Metroid Prime this year', this tells them if Retro hasn't started on it before now, they will have to wait until at least 2017 for it. In all likelihood it's already being developed.



Prof_Clayton said:

Retro has failed to disappoint so far. So whatever they make, I hope its a stale steries in need of new ideas. They did great reinvigorating both Donkey Kong and Metroid... F-Zero would seem like a logical next step to me.



Zombie_Barioth said:

I'd say a classic-style Donkey Kong but we're actually already getting them, wouldn't mind seeing a return of the Kremlings or a not quite so collect-a-thonish 3D platformer though.

Maybe a Starfox game thats a good mix between Star Fox Adventures, Assault, and the classic series. Get a good balance going between on-foot/ground sections and air/space battles with a more fleshed out world like in the old Nintendo comics. The latter is what I liked about SFA (that, and dinosaurs of course).

Most of all though I'd like to see what Retro can do when left to their own devices. When Nintendo set Rare loose we got Banjoe Kazooie, who knows what we could get out of Retro.



Spoony_Tech said:

I want Image & Form to make the next 2d Metroid on the 3ds. I think they can handle it very well!



hiptanaka said:

@ThreadShadow That would be Metroid 5. The last numbered entry was 4. I'd really prefer them to keep the main Metroid series 2D, though. 2D graphics won't happen, but at least 2D gameplay.



PinkSpider said:

This shouldn't even be a thought, this needs to be being made as we speak.
Seriously why is this not top priority right now? Sales would triple



Lord said:

This all sounds like miyamoto could be using retro for his new ip rather than have them work on metroid. Could this be the second time fans are expecting retro to be working on metroid when they are actually NOT......



Doma said:

Do they really need Miyamoto for this? Not to disrespect, but i think his time has long past. Retro should be given the opportunity to create something original on their own. Give Metroid to another in-house developer.



DarkNinja9 said:

how would i feel? amazed! i think it would be a great game and i think we would see new ideas that havent been used yet O_O if its metroid then even better if its not then still O:



ikki5 said:

lol, that would be hilarious, just Metroids or other things from the Metroid series. I can just imaging, a pet baby Kraid.



BigH88 said:

Really want Metroid 4 so bad. They would be smart to implement online multiplayer. It would be Nintendos Titanfall.



ChessboardMan said:

@ikki5 Awww, does Kraid want a belly rub? Ow! I think I need to clip those claws of your's! Now here's that belly ru-Aaaaauuuuggghhh! DID YOU JUST SHOOT A PLATFORM THROUGH MY HAND?!?!



Genesaur said:

Well, Miyamoto was pretty involved with Metroid Prime, but I know they meant like a legit Miyamoto project. We're all hoping for Metroid, but who knows, really?



GalacticMario28 said:

Miyamoto + Retro? That almost sounds too good to be true; I hope it's not because I'd really like to see that.



unrandomsam said:

I hope they haven't made Tropical Freeze easier than DKCR. (The difficulty was just right in the last entry when so few Nintendo games seem to get that right these days).



Capt_N said:

Miyamoto, & Retro? To be honest, I think if Retro has lost some people from years ago, then Metroid would not necessarily have the same directions as the Prime games. As a user here has said before, a studio is only good for its ips, if the people that once were there are not any more. Furthermore, wouldn't this be a case of "all chiefs, & no Indians", as they say? You can not have 2 leaders, unless they share directional visions, for the games (they work together on). Edit: Miyamoto's past work has generally been brilliant, but I'm not sure I so easily trust all his choices for the directions of things. More so, I'm not into the concept of combining 2 different heads that may wanna go in 2 different directions, & end up trying to combine those directions, that would result in a mediocre game.



Smug43 said:

part of the problem.. both nintendo internal and external teams are NOT big enough.. Iawatta is responsible for this blunder.. and believe me, if it's one thing to gripe about it's this.. he really underestimated HD developement sooooo terribly.. now they have Retro working on other games and it takes DKC:TF 4+ years to market?? Really?? That's a game which isn't that different from the Wii DK:R game.. I should have been a launch title easily...



rmeyer said:

If Retro doesn't show some kind of Metroid at e3 this year I'm going to throw a microwave



LuckyTJ said:

I hope Nintendo's new ip will be announced at e3. It would be kinda cool if it was a mature rated game, but i doubt it.



ThreadShadow said:

I just want to add a couple comments here.
@Capt_N is right about Retro Studios current state. It isn't the same Retro Studios that made the Prime series, a lot of people have left and a lot of new people have come in. I believe that Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze have been "training" games, to help the new Retro Studios get grounded again. So a new Metroid from them could go in a completely new direction. Maybe a Metroid that is more 2.5D like the DKCR series.

2nd. Miyamoto and Retro working on a completely new IP is more then fine with me. Retro has been ramping up it's staff numbers recently, so I could see there being two big projects going with Miyamoto directly directing one. It's the old production line mode. As two projects going and as one nears completion staff and assets are moved to the next one leaving a few to finish debugging and polishing.

And lastly, I was recently considering Shin'en. And with Nano Assault, Jett Rocket, FAST, and even Art of Balance, I think Shin'en might have a pretty good chance at producing a high quality and very fun, creative Metroid game.



ChozoWarrior said:

I'd be completely okay with Retro doing another Metroid game. After all, the Prime series brought Metroid into modern gaming, and made it an epic.



SCAR said:

I'm one of the few that doesn't think it should be a Metroid game. They're known mainly for Metroid Prime, but really, they made a trilogy and said they wouldn't go back for a long while. They said they wanted to move onto different things, which is why they went to MK and DK in the first place, so I'm not expecting a Metroid game, and I think it's better that way.



JaxonH said:

Yes, let Miamoto and Retro do their thing. Only good will come of it.

And for cryin' out loud Nintendo, outsource the F-Zero license to Shinen already- what are you waiting for? It's obvious they know what they're doing. FAST is the closest I've ever seen to the real thing, and that was all Shinen. Now, imagine if they were allowed to develop for the actual F-Zero franchise and use the trademark mechanics in place of their own> with a little Nintendo oversight for quality assurance and polish, of course. Not only would the F-Zero name help Shinen sell WAY more copies of the game as opposed to FAST, but it would satisfy fans looking for a new entry in the franchise. Win-win.

On that note though, I'm actually very pleased with how FAST turned out on Wii, for being a small WiiWare title. This new one on Wii U is gonna be bigger, better, more refined, full online, the works. I dare say they may just satisfy my F-Zero craving. I have faith. But, if worse comes to worse, my Wii DOES play Gamecube games, and I can always pop in F-Zero GX to get my fix whenever I need. Or the Metroid Prime games, for that matter.



aaronsullivan said:

@Ack @JaxonH
My 4-year-old son went through a phase of thinking metroids were the cutest things ever. He would pretend that his hands were little metroids flying around and even learned to screech like them. (not too pleasant, btw) My daughter would get involved in the imaginative play, too. It was kind of awesome.



Henmii said:


To me too! But I am curious if this still is the case! Many good people left. And I am probably in the vast minority, but I am not entirely sold on Tropical freeze! Don't get me wrong: Returns was Awe-some!! But tropical freeze: The only things new I have seen so far are dynamic 3D levels and swimming. But it looks like they have totally ditched the animals and I don't see much new! Still no Kremlins, and I fear that they have toned down the difficulty drastically! Wich is probably Miyamoto's fault! I'll wait and see!



Terrible_Majesty said:

their last collab brought forth metroid prime so next one should be a new ip or some open world exploration game that shows how nintendo would do a uncharted or gta but maintain its charm and gameplay without conforming to the bad aspects of gta



Cinaclov said:

I find the constant wanting for Retro to make another Metroid a bit tiresome in all honesty; I'd love to see what they could do with another big franchise. I can't see F-Zero being their thing (feel free to surprise me ), but Star Fox could be fantastic. Don't get me wrong, I think Metroid is a fantastic series, but it still makes up half of Retros gaming portfolio with Nintendo, give them some breathing room before going back to it imo.



Henmii said:

I agree! While a new Metroid made by them could be great, I would love to see a new Zelda made by them! Or a Starfox! Or a F-Zero! Or Ravenblade! Or Banjo Kazooie (if Nintendo gets the rights)! Or something different all together!

I don't know if Miyamoto should lead it though! I think Miyamoto has lost the plot over the years!



MadAdam81 said:

I'd like to see something new - Metroid, F Zero & Star Fox have never really sold THAT well.
I like @JaxonH 's idea of handing these off to indy devs.

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