In the latest Metroid Prime interview from KIWI TALKZ, ex-Retro Studios developer Paul Tozour talks about his experience working with Nintendo and specifically Metroid Prime's producer, Kensuke Tanabe. When the subject about how the Metroid Prime games blend western and eastern design philosophies together, Tozour shares a rather amusing anecdote regarding the influence of Xbox's Halo series on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
"There are influences of Halo in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption because a couple of designers on the team were big Halo fans and that, as I understand it, caused some problems with Tanabe-san, because of course he did not care about Halo. But the first Dark Samus battle was our attempt to create a boss encounter that felt more like a typical western shooter game, that felt more like a Call of Duty or something like that and give more of that feeling."
Indeed, Tanabe's feelings toward the Halo franchise could be linked to Nintendo's consistent desire to create wholly original games. Earlier in the interview, Tozour explains that western developers have a tendency to compare their ideas to existing franchises, something that Nintendo wouldn't tolerate in pitch meetings:
American game developers are always like "oh it's Call of Duty meets Halo with the weapons of Final Fantasy", or whatever, right, "it's Fortnite meets Minecraft". Whereas, at Nintendo you just don't do that. You design based on "no, we're not talking about their game, what their game did doesn't matter". The entire content of anybody else's games in the universe doesn't matter to Nintendo. All that matters to Nintendo is this particular game we're working on; what are the design pillars, what does the player experience, what are we trying to do."
Given the context provided by Tozour, you can understand why Tanabe might have had an issue with Retro Studios attempting to inject some of Halo's design into Metroid Prime 3. It's certainly a fascinating, if not altogether surprising, glimpse into how Nintendo approaches its projects.
Check out the video below from KIWI TALKZ. You can also read about Retro Studios' cancelled 'Project X' endeavour and how it proved "frustrating" for Paul Tozour right here.
Did you notice any Halo influences in Metroid Prime 3? What do you think of Nintendo's approach to original game design? Let us know!