Retro and Nintendo on their relationship, Retro could work on a game lead by Miyamoto - Nintendo Everything

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Retro and Nintendo on their relationship, Retro could work on a game lead by Miyamoto

Posted on January 12, 2014 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

Retro Studios president Michael Kelbaugh and Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe commented on how the two companies cooperate in the development of projects in the latest issue of ONM.

To begin, Kelbaugh explained how the process is ultimately “a symbiotic relationship” between Retro, Nintendo SPD, “and other entities throughout the Nintendo family.”

He said:

“Tanabe-san and his team at SPD 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 added that along with SPD, Retro will also work with the teams over at Kyoto. “They might even work on a title that Miyamoto-san leads directly in the future,” he teased.

“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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  • Jumwa

    Absolutely adore Retro. Wish they were working on some other games though, as the Donkey Kong franchise is not a favourite of mine. Would love to see what they did with StarFox, more Metroid or, a dream of mine, a new Eternal Darkness.

    • D2K

      I’m not impressed with Retro anymore. They’ve become obsessed with Donkey Kong. I’m not a fan of the Donkey Kong franchise either. There is nothing wrong with it, just no my cup of tea. And it really shouldn’t have taken them this long to make DKC:TF either. Super Mario 3D World was made in half the time.

      They need to snap it up. Hopefully they will reveal that the long dormant Raven Blade is the second game that they have been working on alongside DKC:TF in the next Wii U focused Nintendo Direct.

      • Sapero

        While I see your point, saying that Retro are “obsessed” with making DK games is quite an overstatment. They made ONE Wii game and helped with MK7. They made THREE!! Metroid games in a row and people still complain about DK. I understand that DK titles might not be your cup of tea, and I too would love to see them make a Star Fox game, you still have to respect their will and remember that they’re still a small studio with limited resources. Even though you might not enjoy DK titles, they did a solid job with it + it even sold better than all the Metroid Prime games combined.

        • D2K

          Retro openly admitted that they chose Donkey Kong over Metroid for their first Wii U game. Considering that decision was made right on the heels of the release of DKCR on the Wii and just before the decision to have Monster Games port it to the 3DS, that is obsessive enough for me.

          Retro Studios is not a small studio with limited resources. Retro expanded their headquarters to a much larger building, hired massive amounts of talent from AAA gaming studios like Vigil games and Naughty Dog, and is a subsidiary of Nintendo meaning that they have access to any funds necessary for any 1st-party titles from Nintendo. It doesn’t make sense to suggest money would be an issue from a company Nintendo owns in light of the fact that Nintendo funded Bayonetta 2 for Platinum Games which they do NOT own. If it’s a 1st party exclusive you can bet Nintendo is footing the bill.

          The fact that I said “there is nothing wrong with that game” pretty much covers the fact that the quality of it is not in question by me so I’m not sure why you went into a dissertation of such. It’s obvious that you love it but I don’t need to be convinced as to why.

          I don’t want them to do StarFox. I’d rather have another studio that can totally devote all their time into it. In fact, I don’t them to work on Metroid either. If they want to focus so much on DK then let them. I have no problem with that. Clearly it is their passion. Give someone else a chance on the other franchises. Platinum Games is BEGGING for the chance to make a Starfox game. I say give them a chance. When a company is passionate about something it usually translates well into the game. Look at what Double-Helix has done with Killer Instinct. They were fans of the series and it shows. Even the musical composer Mitch Gordon was a huge fan and you can tell by how epic the music is for the game.

          Just like Nintendo couldn’t force Rare to make the games they wanted they cannot force Retro either. That’s probably why Miyamoto went on record to say that they are looking into allowing other companies to make games from classic IPs for them. I just hope those weren’t empty words.

          • Michael Peterson

            Raven Blade is probably full of bad ideas/shoddy gameplay, and that’s probably why they abandoned it. Aesthetics alone isn’t reason enough to continue a project. As for the TYPE of game people want, well, considering DKCR sold more than all three Metroid Prime games combined, more people want Donkey Kong. And that’s fine, Rare made both cartoony platformers and realistic gun games, as has Naughty Dog. Retro making both Metroid and Donkey Kong isn’t out of line considering the rest of the industry.

            And Retro making Donkey Kong Country actually makes sense. Michael Kelbaugh worked on the original DKC series back when he was a tester at NOA (you can even see him posing as a cafeteria worker in the DKC:exposed promo VHS tape from Nintendo). He has a history with the franchise, and a love for it. Getting David Wise back is especially evidence of that. And with Rare out of the picture, DKC didn’t have a place to call home, but now it does, and who better than a Western studio with members that have a history with the series? I’d say it’s a perfect fit.

            Of course, I too want to see them continue to work on new franchises, especially if Miyamoto is involved.

          • D2K

            Nope. Raven Blade was abandoned because Nintendo wanted Retro to focus on Metroid. Only reason.

            Metroid Prime 1 and 2 were released on a console that had an install base of 21 million. Metroid Prime 3 was released on the Wii when it had an install base of around 20 million. Donkey Kong Country returns was released on the Wii when it had an install base of 90+ million. Very rare do sales of software carry longer that two years so by the time the Wii had the instal base size that it did when DKCR was released people were done with MP3. Your comparison is flawed.

            It also doesn’t make since to DEFEND Retro for the choices but start off by saying they are capable of making a game full of “bad ideas and shoddy gameplay.” You contradict yourself when you do that and if you truly believe what you are saying there is no need for a ridiculous comment such as that.

            DKR:TF actually did not make sense and the reason why it was pushed to February was for reason why it did not make since. Nintendo released a barrage of platformers this holiday season and it would have been very easy for DKC:TF to get lost in the wash just like Wonderful 101, Sonic Lost World, and Windwaker HD did. All good games, but cannot compare to Super Mario 3D World. Releasing it in February it now runs unopposed. However if this was Metroid instead, there wouldn’t have been anything to oppose that or divide the audience. Had DKC:TF been released on schedule it could have done well, or it could have done poorly. It was a risk that was unnecessary to take. If you already have Super Mario 3D World, Wonderful 101, Sonic Lost World, and Windwaker HD, do you really need a DK game? Be honest with yourself. And currently a highest-selling stand along Wii U title is Super Mario 3D World which is around 1.7 million worldwide. You think DKC:TF is gonna sell more than that game?

            But I’m not going to keep carrying on. You are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine.

          • Michael Peterson

            You don’t know what happened with Raven Blade behind the scenes, they were a young developer back then, and it’s very likely that most of their ideas for it weren’t focused on gameplay, and the better route to take was to abandon it altogether. Today, Retro is capable of much more, and they’re more knowledgeable with gameplay oriented design. They probably look back on Raven Blade with embarrassment.

            Donkey Kong is a higher selling franchise than Metroid no matter what. Even the two Metroid games on Wii sold worse than any Donkey Kong. Other M sold worse than Jungle Beat even, the black sheep of the series. 6 million copies for DKCR is nothing to scoff at, and even though the Wii U doesn’t have the install base to match those numbers, you can bet that Tropical Freeze would still sell better than a Metroid title. Metroid has a very hardcore following, but it’s a small following, it just can’t compete with DK’s wider appeal, even if DK doesn’t have a very vocal fanbase online. DK won’t save the Wii U, but it is a better option than a new Metroid or a new “hardcore” game, that’s for sure. Nintendo does better with the wider audience, and Donkey Kong is a huge name for them, so of course they’re going to put effort towards it.

            You don’t have to like Donkey Kong, but you should at least recognize it as a powerhouse for Nintendo, and shouldn’t be surprised that a western studio like Retro wants to work on it. If you were around for the Rare games, you’d remember just how big of a deal the series was, and how much people loved it. You know that it’s high quality, and you know that only the best developers have worked on it, so why should it be looked down upon?

      • Domício Medeiros

        Man, I respect that you don’t like DK, but you need to buy it because of David Wise. =)

        • D2K

          I’d rather just buy the soundtrack.

          • Domício Medeiros

            The magic happens when you see how he can fit sound and scenario together. =)

  • Michael Peterson

    I’m a huge DKC fan, I’m very grateful for Retro Studios and think they’re doing a fantastic job with the series. Rare always took the DK franchise seriously, so I’m glad Retro is doing the same, taking their time on it and making sure it’s top-notch quality. After all, DK isn’t a B-lister, it’s always been made by the best of the best, Miyamoto, Rare, Tokyo EAD, Retro Studios, it’s a triple-A franchise worthy of top developers.

    • Sapero

      I 100% agree with you.
      I would love to see them make another game, but I’m happy they made a new DK game, becouse I love them and they did a great job with DKC: Returns!

  • igotworms

    You know I honestly hope that Raven Blade wasn’t abandoned, back when the GC launched it was game I was looking forward too. I don’t know what type of game nintendo and retro have up their sleeves “F-zero, Metriod, or a new IP.” I just hope it takes the full power of the Wii U a killer FPS would be awesome…

  • Vigilante_blade

    I think Retro Studios could really stand to improve.

    Their DKC games are nowhere as good as DKC1 and 2 by forcing you to use DK, not giving a tag mode, forcing motion controls (the next one won’t, which is great), etc…

    Metroid Prime was a fine game, but the third is the weakest game they’ve ever made. The force motion controls really hurt the experience for me, but I would certainly want to play a remastered controls version of this game.

    They haven’t impressed me at all since Metroid Prime, and I really hope they’ll get better as time goes on. What I do like however is that they took some of the critiques seriously. I do however hope they’ll keep respecting the fact that people like different gameplay methods and sincerely want them to eventually make a DK game that lets you play other kongs in single player.

  • Jordan Olling

    A new Star Fox game, please!

  • Retro has proven itself a great developer and it’s time Nintendo gives them the chance to create their own original IP. Nintendo allowed Rare to do this back in the day and they came up with great games like Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Conker, Diddy Kong Racing and Killer Instinct.