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.
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