A Nintendo representative has revealed that Retro Studios isn’t involved with the development process of Mario Kart 8. Although it helped with Mario Kart 7, the Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze studio hasn’t assisted Nintendo EAD in its work on the upcoming Wii U racing title. New information about Mario Kart 8 was unveiled yesterday, April 3rd. The game is scheduled to launch on May 30th in stores and in the Nintendo eShop.
IGN recently has the opportunity to speak to Retro Studios this week about the challenges of bringing Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze to Nintendo’s latest home console, Wii U. Retro Studios President Michael Kelbaugh explained to the publication the difficulties the company faced when developing for new hardware.
“The Wii U is a powerhouse of technology that we had to transition to. We had brand new tools, brand new engine, brand new everything. There was a lot of unknowns [for us],” he said. “From a technology standpoint we’re trying to develop that technology while we’re developing a new game at the same time. That was really challenging.”
In a recent interview with US Gamer, Retro Studios Michael Kelbaugh said that the talented development team would be lucky to get the chance to work on another game in the Metroid franchise. We already heard last week that Retro Studios have been busy developing a new game since development of Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze ended back in November.
“You’re not going to find a larger bunch of Metroid of Metroid Prime fans than at Retro studios. We’ll be lucky to someday, maybe, work on another one. There’s a lot of people in the studio left over from Metroid Prime that are very passionate about Metroid… If the fans keep asking, then maybe we’ll answer.”
Retro Studios president and CEO Michael Kelbaugh says that developers shouldn’t ignore the Wii U and says it’s more than adequate to make great games on. Kelbaugh then went onto confirm that they are hard at work on a new game, but wouldn’t divulge anymore information.
“Unfortunately, the perception is that it’s not a very powerful machine,” Kelbaugh said about the Wii U. “That’s just not true. It’s a powerhouse. It’s more than adequate to make great games on.”
“It was really fun being able to crack that open for the first time and learning HD techniques; pixel shading, having a lot more horsepower and how that impacts the team. It was really fun to watch our artists just go crazy because now they didn’t really have to worry about polygons anymore. ‘Make as many as you want!’”
Also in our interview, veteran Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe confirmed that Retro Studios is working on a new game, but he would not say anything more than that. This game has been in development for a few months now, as Retro wrapped work on Tropical Freeze in November and hasn’t been sitting by idly, Kelbaugh assured us.
“We love working with Donkey Kong. It’s a great character. It’s a lot of fun. We love working with Metroid Prime, with Mario Kart; those are fun, fun games to work on. So, you know, you can’t lose,” he said. “Every one of those IPs have been a lot of fun to play with and work on and [we'd] love to come back to them sometime.”
Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
Nintendo has uploaded another reviews trailer for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze to YouTube. In addition to showcasing a minute of gameplay footage, the new video highlights multiple positive quotes made by reviewers of the Wii U platformer. The clip points out the perfect 10 that was awarded by Destructoid, which called the game “pretty much flawless.” It also takes out a quote from IGN’s review, which applauded the title’s boss battles. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze currently holds an aggregate score of an 82 out of 100 on Metacritic, with one of its lower scores given by GameSpot.
The official Nintendo magazine sat down with Retro CEO Michael Kelbaugh and Nintendo SPD producer Kensuke Tanabe to talk about Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and possible future projects for the company. Tanabe says that Nintendo consider Retro as part of the Nintendo family and they may eventually end up working on a title that legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto leads in the future.
“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 with not only SPD, but also with the development 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 it 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.”
Nintendo has released a Japanese introduction video for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. In addition to giving a glimpse at some the game’s all-new islands, the clip focuses on how Donkey Kong benefits from partnering up with another character. The game features a two-player co-op mode that allows one player to control Donkey Kong, while the other controls Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong or Cranky Kong. Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze will launch February 21 for Wii U.
Retro Studios are looking to hire two individuals for a brand new project, according to a tweet sharing the job descriptions. The company behind the magic of Donkey Kong and Metroid Prime are looking for an AI engineer to work on programming for AI enemies and bosses, as well as a UI engineer to work with “a specific focus on User Interface programming for HUD”, according to the respective job descriptions.
Earlier this month, Retro Studios were looking for four other talented individuals to fill roles as a Senior Tools Engineer, IT Manager, Concept Artist and Tool Engineer. Speculation is afoot on all sides, but what do you hope this new project will be?
Thanks, Mr Specials
Nintendo has revealed the download size for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. The digital version of the upcoming Wii U platformer will require 11.4GB of free space to download from from the Nintendo eShop. Five music tracks from the title were uploaded to YouTube yesterday, and Nintendo recently detailed the game’s online leaderboards. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze launches February 21 in North America and Europe.
Retro Studios president and CEO Michael Kelbaugh has sat down with the Official Nintendo Magazine to talk about the company’s relationship with Nintendo. Nintendo’s Software Planning & Development Division producer Kensuke Tanabe said that the acclaimed studio may work directly with Shigeru Miyamoto as he says that they are “a very capable game development studio.”
“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.”
“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.”