This article is written from the Real Life point of view Globe

Retro Studios is an American video game developer based in Austin, Texas, USA. It was founded in 1998 by Jeff Spangenberg as a second-party developer to Nintendo. It is currently wholly owned by Nintendo, making it a first-party developer, with over 50 employees.


Retro's unique in the sense that we love being in Texas. Texas is just a cool place, and that really reflects in the culture. We are Nintendo employees. We have a very different perspective on developing games. We really strive to think like our friends in Japan. They've been doing it longer than anybody else, and we appreciate the opportunity of the mentorship that we're given from people like Mr. Sakamoto, Mr. Tanabe, Mr. Miyamoto... no other North American developer is going to get that experience working with that calibre of individual, or individuals, on a project-by-project basis. It's just not going to happen in North America.

Michael Kelbaugh[1]

Retro Studios logo (2002)

Retro Studios logo (2002), as seen in Metroid Prime.

Retro Studios struggled in its early years, dealing with several cancelled projects and lay-offs. However, Nintendo came to their aid by offering the company the license to the dormant Metroid franchise, whose last game was Super Metroid, released in 1994.

The first big project that Retro Studios worked on with Nintendo was Metroid Prime, one of the biggest titles for the Nintendo GameCube, receiving both critical and public acclaim. In 2001, then-president Jeff Spangenberg sold his share of stock in the company to Nintendo and left shortly thereafter.

In 2003, Michael Kelbaugh was named president of Retro Studios, and the following year released Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, which proved to be just as much of a critical success as the first game.

We're pretty laid back as far as studio life is concerned. We've got a gym, and we've got a nice cafeteria. We've got a lot of assets that we can use for making our day to day life better.

Mike Wikan[1]

In 2007, Retro Studios completed Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Nintendo Wii. Their latest Metroid title is the Metroid Prime Trilogy, a compilation of Retro's three Prime titles on one disk. Following Trilogy, Retro Studios decided to take a break from Metroid for a while, and did not work on Metroid: Other M, although they did also state that they would consider revisiting the Metroid franchise at a later date. In 2010, however, they had released their first game to not be Metroid, Donkey Kong Country Returns. They also recently codeveloped Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS. Their most recent release is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch.

In 2008, after the release of Corruption, Mark Pacini, Todd Keller, and Jack Mathews broke away from Retro Studios and formed their own company known as Armature Studio.

According to Shigeru Miyamoto, Retro will be "very high priority" when choosing who will develop the next Metroid game.[2]

Retro Studios was said to be working on a new game for the Wii U in 2014, shortly after the release of Tropical Freeze. However, the status of this project is unknown as nothing has been said about it since. During E3 2017, Bill Trinen confirmed that Retro was not developing Metroid Prime 4, which would instead be handled by an unknown new development team, led by Kensuke Tanabe.[3] However, it was announced on January 25, 2019 that development of Prime 4 was being restarted, and that Retro Studios would now be developing it with Tanabe once again.[4]

Games developed by Retro StudiosEdit

Projects cancelled for Metroid PrimeEdit

  • Metaforce (Action Adventure)
  • Car Combat (Thunder Rally)
  • NFL Retro Football
  • Raven Blade

Nintendo GameCubeEdit


Nintendo 3DSEdit

  • Mario Kart 7 (2011)

Wii UEdit

  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (2014, ported to Nintendo Switch in 2018)

Nintendo SwitchEdit


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ 2013-09-20, Retro Will Be Strongly Considered for the Next Metroid Game. IGN, accessed on 2013-09-21
  3. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (June 13, 2017). E3 2017: Metroid Prime 4 Is Not Developed By Retro, Still Has Longtime Producer. Retrieved on June 30, 2018.
  4. ^

External linksEdit