Famous for its work on the Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country franchises, Retro is currently involved in the production of Metroid Prime 4, a game it inherited when Nintendo decided to restart production in 2019.
The work comes with a price tag of $530,000 and will result in almost 40,000 square feet of custom office space, with Retro moving in by Summer 2021, according to a report published by US sales intelligence firm Intelligence360. Those of you with long memories will recall that Retro moved into its current premises almost a decade ago; it is understood that these premises will be retained despite the investment in the new office space.
Retro has been engaged in an aggressive recruitment drive for Metroid Prime 4, having most recently snapped up Rockstar veteran Marisa Palumbo as lead producer. Last month, God of War senior game designer Jon Marcella and Call of Duty director Dylan Jobe joined the team.
These new staffers join the likes of Bharathwaj ‘Bat’ Nandakumar (Call of Duty) Adad Morales (Battlefield Hardline), Bryan Erck (Shadow of the Tomb Raider), Nicholas Wilson (Borderlands 3), Mark Capers (New Super Lucky’s Tale), James Beech (Crysis 3 and DC Universe Online), Stephen Dupree (Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze) and Kyle Hefley (Halo). That’s quite a line-up.
Despite this massive influx of new talent, it was revealed last year that around half of Metroid Prime 3’s development staff remain at Retro – although less than 10 of the 40-plus team which created the original Metroid Prime are still there.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Retro is remodelling its offices, rather than moving to new premises.
Damien has over a decade of professional writing experience under his belt, as well as a repulsively hairy belly. Rumours that he turned down a role in The Hobbit to work on Nintendo Life are, to the best of our knowledge, completely and utterly unfounded.
Here comes the people who are about to complain that the game should’ve had a 20 minute gameplay reveal with a pre-order date and release window by now
It’ll be a long time before we see anything of the game but it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out in the end. They’re clearly investing a lot into trying to make sure it’s done right so hopefully the end result will be worth the wait.
Why does everyone think this is all for Metroid Prime 4 at this point? My guess is they’re expanding this much so they can have more than one game in the pipeline at a time. You don’t need to grow like this for a single game.
Just continue to expand, Retro-S! Monolith Soft is soon even bigger than Atlus (!!!) in the amount of employees, so why not Retro-S too?Nintendo really needs a Monolith and Retro who can spitting out 1-2 games per year.
We’re probably not getting this game for a while, which I’m fine with. I just hope that Nintendo releases a Metroid Prime Trilogy on Switch.
But between the talent absorbed and this new move, I am getting the sense Nintendo has thrown Retro a massive budget. I hope this new entry gives the franchise the boost it desperately needs, gives it a better seat at the table.
@holygeez03 they prematurely revealed it after the backlash from Federation Force, but the positive energy has long run out since its been three years since the last Metroid game.
This game can’t be for the current Switch, or even the Switch Pro. There’s no way. The skills of these developers goes far beyond what the Switch can handle.
This is for sure the killer app for whatever Nintendo console comes out next. And I’m totally hyped for it
I’m going to assume this is most likely going to be another TP or BOTW situation where it launches on both the Switch and next gen system.
@NGNYS What kind of studio do you think spits out 1-2 (quailty) games a year!? The Company as a whole, Definitely, but not a whole dang studio!
Just how little development of Prime 4 has occurred? Seriously, it feels like this game is 4 years away from release still.
Nintendo really shouldn’t have revealed Prime 4 in 2017. Sure there would’ve been more backlash towards Samus Returns being a 3DS exclusive but let’s be honest here, every 3DS exclusive announced after the Switch was revealed got a load of backlash for being 3DS exclusive anyway.
@Grumblevolcano if namco didnt screw it up in the first place then we wouldnt have to wait a few more years even though nintendo should of went straight to retro in the first place for prime 4.
@Lionyone the number is in dollars, not yen and it’s for a building in Texas, not Tokyo.
The story is less about how much they are spending on a building and more about how the Retro staff is expanding.
@link3710 Exactly. Yeah, it makes total sense for them to move to a new hq for one game. 🤪 It backs up the claim I made earlier that Nintendo is investing into the studio beyond the project known as Metroid Prime 4. In the end, it’s all very good news.
Enough recipe for success.. anything short of 9.4 rating(must play), when it eventually comes out is a failure.
That Halo employee is gonna suggest grey, no-detail corridors instead of different complex details in every corridor.
This is all a smokescreen. Anyone in the know knows that this is a clear indication of…SHADOW DROP 12AM TONIGHT!
Things are definitely happening at Retro! Though I find it hard to believe that all these changes are solely for the benefit of Metroid Prime 4.
Huge Metroid fan, but I’d love to know if Retro plans to ever do a third DK Country game. I’d be all over that.
@holygeez03 Probably not, I bet it moved a lot of systems. If I hadn’t bought a Switch at launch, I sure would have after E3 2017 with Splatoon 2, Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade 2 and Metroid Prime 4 on the horizon.
@AnnoyingFrenzy We can only hope that Bill Dïng will be a stable, unfaltering addition to the team.
@RiasGremory It was still going to be a long wait even if the restart never happened (we got a logo at E3 2017, that’s it). Prime 4’s announcement for sure was damage control over Samus Returns being 3DS exclusive just like the Pokemon segment was damage control over Ultra Sun/Moon being 3DS exclusive.
Bayonetta 3 at the 2017 Game Awards was probably damage control over Switch being perceived as a port machine.
I think killer app is taking this a bit too far, hell the best sales figures the prime series has had thus far is the original at around 2.8 million copies, why Nintendo are pouring money into these guys is beyond me.
I love Metroid and want it to be good. Skyrocketing budgets and no planned release in sight make me anxious.
It’s gonna be a Breath of the Wild situation, by the time this is close to development completion Nintendo would release it simultaneously for the Switch and the successor which at that point most would just buy it for the successor instead.
@Tyranexx Nintendo is building a Western powerhouse of a Retro Studios. They could’ve done that earlier, but better late than never.
@KingBowser86 I hear he’s had many years of experience in his field and is very supportive of others.
Am I reading this wrong but 40,000 space for $530,000 Or £406,000 seems very cheap. Especially when that’s the same price as a 2 bed starter home In Cambridge UK.
Hate to see the budget on this game. Wonder if they can recover the total cost. Betting it has to sell at least 5 million to turn a profit.
@Spoony_Tech If they sell 5 million copies for 60 USD each, they make 300 million. BotW had the biggest budget of any Nintendo game ever with 120 million and broke even after only 2 million copies, they’ll definitely sell more than 2 million copies of Metroid Prime 4.
The year is 2036 and Retro just announced a new recruitment for developers.New release date for Metroid 4 is the summer of 2039.
Geez, Prime 4 is giving Duke Nukem Forever a run for its money with its delays…Are you sure it’s not going through development hell and will ultimately get cancelled last second?
I assume, given the price tag, that the new building’s central conference room resembles the interior of Samus’ gunship.
@Jakiboy The game has only ever been delayed once after it restarted development back in early 2019. No release date has been announced.
@Onkel_Laser Trivially easy. Now, give us something of the same scale and quality as Axiom Verge and Stardew Valley. You alone. Personally. Troll
@TheFrenchiestFry This is at least the second or third article you’ve been an early commenter on in the past week where you have stated something rude and condescending along the lines of “In before xyz people with a different opinion than me.” Are you actually serious about the things you write or are you just looking to stir up disagreements?
@TheFrenchiestFry This game should’ve had a 20 minute gameplay reveal with a pre-order date and release window by now
I’m flattered you have nothing better to do than monitor my activity on the site though you’re too kind
Whatever the full reasoning behind the aggressive expansion and acquisition of worthy talent, I have no choice but to expect MP4 to be one the greatest undertakings in gaming once completed. Given the time scale this game has been worked on and all that has happened in the meantime, subpar is no longer an option. I hope all of this talent can truly land a very epic game. That is all.
@Lionyone Real estate in Texas is usually pretty cheap. They kind of have a lot of land there.
@TheFrenchiestFry Easy tiger, no need to be so humble. You’re a hard one to miss considering every other article is plastered with your rants. I suggest adopting a less negative attitude next time you choose to offer your input on a topic; it’s the internet, people naturally have opinions that differ slightly from yours.
@Onkel_Laser I mean, if you want to to a decent 5 hour 8-bit sidescroller, it could probably take 5 developers around 3 months to make such a game.
If you want a sequel to one of the best gaming trilogies ever after a 10+ year hiatus, where the expectation is that the game gets similarly strong reviews and sells much better than prior entries to make up for the increased development costs and revitalize the entire franchise, well, it will take…a decent amount of time, resources, and personnel.
@Menardi You mean rants as in harmless jabs at a gaming community’s behaviour that’s become common place all over social media to begin with? I don’t really give a crap about what people on this site think of me, nor do I feel the need to “lighten up” since people won’t care about a single comment in a sea of other ones. My opinion is completely incosequential in altering the enjoyment of things from other people and I’m really not here to change anyone’s mind on a particular topic. I really couldn’t care less what you think of either me or what I have to say. Just move along because I am a faceless nobody of an individual to you as you are to me.
@KingBowser86 It is clear he’ll really cement his place on the team, he’ll be a foundation for the rest to grow off of.
@AnnoyingFrenzy there is no doubt he will ensure the rest of the team can weather the storm to come. Disgruntled, impatient gamers, not so much.
This is exiting! That means that I are willing to expand, maybe even opening a second teamMore and bigger games for in the future!
Let’s hope this means they do more games for Nintendo to get that money back. Let’s start with F-Zero, then a 3D Donkey Kong. Beyond that, who knows?
We’ve been waiting since corruption on the Wii, so we can wait a few more years (I don’t expect a release until late 2022). But!!! I expect a HD trilogy in 2021/early 2022 and Prime 4 to be incredible, just like Odyssey and Botw were to Mario and Zelda respectively
Well, I hope this means they are in it for the long haul and we are getting more than one.
> 343 Industries: Loses 3 of its lead game directors and producers within the last 12 months, among other personel losses
> Retro Studios: Aggressively expands workforce by aquiring development talent from across the industry and ponies up the cash for a big HQ renovation
Don’t worry retro, you guys will make that back the first week you release MP4. Likely the first couple days even. 🤣
I look forward to playing Metroid Prime on the Switch 3 Pro! It wouldn’t kill Nintendo to put out a HD remaster collection of the original 3.
Good things will come out of this, Retro will expand meaning Prime 4 will probably take less time and possibly Retro will have enough staff to justify a “B” team where they can work on multiple game at a time.
@KryptoniteKrunch It’s great isn’t it? Nintendolife posts an article. Maria the cleaner stops working at Retro Studios…”Aaaargh they’ve started again!!!?!?!?!?! Development hell! This game will never come out! Why Nintendo, why??!?!?!?!??!” “Something something Switch Pro pixels and framerate and milliseconds of lag!!!?!?!?!”
Wow, I really hope people buy this game. Metroid has had a history of not selling great. At least compared to other AAA franchises.
@link3710 more than one game in the pipeline at a time? When was the last time Retro even put out a game, period?
@SpaceKaren yeaaah… They clearly had a cancelled game. But when you cancel a game and you only have one in the pipeline at a time, that’s what happens.
I still want to see what the game looked like when Namco was involved. Unless there were microtransactions up the yazoo, I don’t see how it could have been that bad.
I’m glad Nintendo is investing money on Retro Studios. They definitely earned it after handling so well the Metroid Prime and DK franchise. They even helped with Mario Kart 8 (or 7? I don’t remember which one).
@KryptoniteKrunch Well said. Not to mention that Retro is likely working on Prime 4, even as we speak. The construction of the new building is on another location. Not in the current HQ of Retro.
So some games are now starting to have an all star art&tech line up, as opposed to lights being captured by a single mastermind (Miyamoto, Kojima, Sakurai…). That’s quite something.
They are building for the future. This isn’t just about Prime 4, and I’m still expecting that November 2021.
If things run fast, maybe really fast, we’re going to play MP4 on Christmas Day 2023
Adding office space is…neutral. It’s probably good because it probably means a better working environment for talented people (see above) but who knows?
Adding talent can sometimes add to development time (boo) but it can also reduce development time for complicated projects (yay).
It’s ok, this game will sell over 100 million copies within its first week (specifically the 57th week of 12055 Human Era)
@Mgene15 Development hell? Spill the dirt son…what do you know? Post and delete it if you want so it goes into my email. I’m curious as to what the problem is…
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World news – GB – Retro Studios Is Remodelling Its HQ In 2021 To Aid Development Of Metroid Prime 4