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Retro Studios

Retro Studios continues to staff up as the company develops Metroid Prime 4. It has added a number of VFX artists to its arsenal, including Adad Morales, who previously contributed to Battlefield Hardline and the cancelled Star Wars Ragtag project at EA’s now-shuttered Visceral studio. Morales is on board as Retro’s new VFX lead.

Another new hire is Bryan Erck, who worked on Shadow of the Tomb Raider as that game’s lead VFX artist. And after spending twelve years at Gearbox, Nicholas Wilson is now a senior VFX artist at Retro.

Hello my lovely Boos and Sheikah! This week on Nintendo Everything Podcast, we muse over Retro Studios’ old concept art for Sheik and Boo projects—we really get excited about the Boo one. We cover the Switch’s growing success with the 2019 financial briefings, then talk Mario Kart Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath and the bitter reaction online to the pricing structure. This evolves into a larger discussion of these trends in the gaming industry among many publishers. Is the industry incentivizing consumers to wait to buy their games until after all post-launch content is available? And to respond to this situation they’ve created, do they exploit consumers’ dedication to franchises and FOMO? And finally, we theorize how we could’ve saved the console that was met with a terrible fate: the Wii U.
Check our links and timestamps below, and come hang out.

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Earlier this week, concept art emerged from what looked to be cancelled Zelda and Mario spin-offs from Retro Studios. Sammy Hall, a former artist at the company, shared the shots online via his ArtStation account. The Zelda game would have featured Sheik while the Mario one was focused around Boo.

Hall reconfirmed to IGN that both projects were only in pre-production. He told the site:

Retro Studios is known for its top-tier work on the Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country franchises. However, many years ago, it seems that the developer could have been exploring other notable Nintendo franchises as well.

Concept art has emerged from former Retro Studios pre-production artist Sammy Hall. Hall shared images online of art from Zelda and Mario projects that would have featured Sheik and Boo.

Retro Studios has added another pair of staffers, and both are expected to be environment designers.

The first new addition is Mark Capers from Playful. Capers most recently worked on New Super Lucky’s Tale, but has been involved with the Epic Mickey games and Disney Infinity series as well.

Retro Studios has also hired James Beech. Previously, Beeach worked on Crysis 3 and DC Universe Online.

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Jhony Ljungstedt, a former art director at EA’s DICE studio, is now with Retro Studios.

Ljungstedt previously was the art director for Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst and Battlefield V. He also worked on Battlefield 3: Close Quarters and Back to Karland, and Medal of Honor (2010). Ljungstedt will likely now be contributing to Metroid Prime 4.

Retro Studios had another notable hire back in August. Halo creative Kyle Hefley joined the developer as its new lead character artist.

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Halo artist Kyle Hefley has joined Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios. His new role with the company has him serving as lead character artist.

Previously, Hefley spent nearly a decade at 343 Industries where he was a senior character modeler for the Halo series. He handled many of the armored super soldiers and alien warriors that appeared in Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Infinite. Hefley was directly involved with Master Chief in Halo 5.

Hefley has worked on a number of other titles throughout his career, including Call of Duty: Black Ops and Sleeping Dogs.

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This week, the lineup of Wii games from Nintendo on China’s NVIDIA Shield expanded once again. Donkey Kong Country Returns, which was previously confirmed for the device, is now available.

Here’s some footage:

Donkey Kong Country Returns takes up 3.9GB on NVIDIA Shield.

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Nintendo’s Kensuke Tanabe is working on Luigi’s Mansion 3. That’s not the only important project he’s involved with, however. Tanabe is also one of the key staffers helping to make Metroid Prime 4 happen.

At E3 last week, Eurogamer decided to ask if Tanabe had any sort of update on Metroid Prime 4. He gave a bit of an interesting answer, noting that he wants people to pay attention to Luigi’s Mansion 3 for now.

Retro Studios is still searching for new employees to assist with Metroid Prime 4’s development. On its Twitter page, the company posted a job listing for an art director.

Here’s the full listing: