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Rumor: Former Retro Studios Employee Claims “Half The Team Is Expecting Nintendo To Shut It Down”

It feels like it’s been a while since we heard any substantial news in regard to what Retro Studios is up to. According to a number of current and former employees, however, things aren’t looking too good for Nintendo’s Texas-based division. Several staffers have left extremely negative reviews on Glassdoor, citing factors such as “poor upper-management” and “poor communication.” One employee in particular went so far as to suggest that Nintendo is planning to shut down the studio for good.

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73 thoughts on “Rumor: Former Retro Studios Employee Claims “Half The Team Is Expecting Nintendo To Shut It Down””

    1. I too hope that this is false. They are part of the Metroid Prime games. Also they are the studio that brought the DK franchise back to life.

      1. The website is not fake because you need an ID or papers to prove that you work for said company. Otherwise, they would get sued up the ass by people who worked for said companies and they find out that their names are used in these fake reviews alone.

    2. it’s not fake because you need an ID to post a review on the site. Otherwise, trolls would post fake news reviews on how the Illuminati is fucking kids in the ass by lizard people all while making a Mario game aimed at kids.

      The website would be sued hard if they post fake reviews. That’s why they have strong passwords and ID codes to know if you really worked for the company or not.

      1. You are the original parachan, aren’t you?

        I saw your posts about entropicvoid and i have found things about him, first of all his dox is accurate, one day he uploaded a video showing “his cars”, those cars were in the same field that Google maps shows.

        Now, here is what looks like a pic of him years ago:

  1. Expected, they haven’t released anything new in over half a decade and we have no clue what’s next for them.

    1. They’ve yet to release a bad game and seem to contribute manpower to a lot of other games. It’s a shame that bad management is holding it back.

  2. Ah so this is what’s going on with Retro. Such a shame. Their work on Metroid Prime Trilogy and Donkey Kong Country Returns games is top notch.

  3. The first image/report uses ” its ” when it should be ” it’s “. So maybe Retro employees have bad grammer, or it’s a b.s. report.

    1. “grammar”
      Sorry, I only tend to call out people that make similar mistakes while expecting everyone to type perfectly all the timeโ€ฆ

  4. Certainly poor leadership can create a toxic work environment, but you can also get little cancerous lumps of employees that need to be cut out too. So this could be either poor management or disgruntled employees post purge. Who knows. We do know that Retro has been working on something unannounced for a long time and it may very well be that the project isn’t going well. If your studio isn’t making good on your milestone reports, eventually your paychecks are going to stop.

    But just remember, you probably work with a lot of crappy employees. You may even be one but still think you’re the best employee there. When someone gets fired, they’re going to blame the company and then go complain on Glass Door. That’s basically what that site is made for. These comments tell us literally nothing.

      1. The guy said that half the employees THINK Nintendo is going to shut RETRO down. They’re hating on Retro management, not Nintendo.

        My whole point was that just because a angry ex-employee says that half the team thinks Nintendo is going to shut them down, doesn’t mean that half the team ACTUALLY thinks that. It’s much more likely that there’s a small group of crappy employees complaining together in the break room.

          1. No one said they hate Nintendo, one even listed being part of the Nintendo family under their Pros of working for Retro.

            Just because a studio creates a good game, that doesn’t mean it’s a good or bad place to work, or that it’s a good fit for every employee. I’ve seen studios put out pretty mediocre games but had loyal employees and a great work environment. But I’ve never worked in a place where every single employee was satisfied with their job.

            Epic Games has quite a few 1-2 star reviews and plenty of 5 stars. My buddy worked for them and moved on quickly because he didn’t like it. One person said it was like “Lord of the Flies,” and another writes “great intentions, bad execution”

            Creative Assembly has a few one stars with things like: “Famous IP’s, not soo great company”

            I could look at any studio and find bad reviews, because no matter hard you try when hiring new employees, you can still bring in people that are a bad fit for the company. It’s all part of the process.

  5. Retro saved Metroid… I hope to god this ain’t true… What was the last thing they did fully??? We not really heard anything from them in so long :(

  6. Andrew Joseph Curran

    Interesting if true. You know the studio will be bought up by a competitor if Nintendo abandons it. The talent will dissolve elsewhere or join a rival studio while the bad management is wiped clean.

    It makes sense though, because Retro has been awol for some time now. Such a shame too, because they don’t even put out bad games. It goes to show that it takes a lot to stay in the business of making videogames. You can be killer at your job and still fail due to poor management.

  7. Their next game will be the make or break decision. Whatever they release next, if anything at all, will decide if Retro is even worth keeping around. Their last game released in 2014 on the WiiU, and they had nothing new to share over the past couple of years, not even a teaser of what kind of new game they may be working on, that is a huge red flag that Retro is about to go under.

  8. I wonder what role Nintendo played in all this…
    I am pretty sure this is real, yet there are still lots of darknesses around this situation.
    It is not normal that nothing is heard for more than four years from such a talented studio. There has to be something fishy in there.

    1. Retro were directionless back in the day. Nintendo made big decisions, cancelled several games and had them rework a demo in to Metroid Prime; that made them viable. Any bad management practices are coming out of Texas in all likelihood, not Nintendo.

      1. The reason I left that comment was because I don’t want Metroid fans to get another case like Other M.

    1. +Luminoth64
      With respect, you can’t really say that, you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. The last big thing we had from Retro Studios was Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze which came out years ago. Yes companies have had their hay-days but any company can fall from grace.

      1. If they fell from grace, it would be the fault of upper management. The company would be dying out with Ninty just sitting on their hands. DKTF proved that the company has the skill to create great games, so if Nintendo isn’t doing anything to help their own companies produce games in an effective manner, especially when it seems all the problems boil down to upper management not doing a good job (something that Ninty could easily fix) then they will have let the company die.

  9. I’d honestly blame Nintendo for this. They still seem to struggle with the whole East meets West ideal. While yes we have two different ideasets when it comes to managing or creating etc, but it seems with the US as such a big market they’d try a little harder

    1. That reminds me, we haven’t heard anything about Retro Studios current president Michael Kelbaugh. Clearly something isn’t right. Maybe an old post from this site that stated a rumor that Retro Studios and Kensuke Tanabe are no longer at good terms could be more real than I thought.

  10. Man, I sure hope this is just a disgruntled ex-employee overstating the matter.
    Because, I really want to see the rumored Starfox racer.

  11. That is what happens when you talk smack about Rare’s DK games (especially the kremlins) and then you can’t come up with a better game. Goodbye.

  12. IIRC Retro weren’t doing too great before NIntendo stepped in and helped right their ship back in the early 2000’s. I believe I read that the original Metroid Prime, though it did eventually release and was/is a fantastic game, was in a bit of a development hell for quite a while. I think that title was in development for 10 years or so before it was released. Those Glassdoor comments kind of sound like the level of morale that was at the company for many years, maybe it’s kind of always been that way, but they put out good games? Who knows. I’ve loved all of the Metroid Prime games and the Donkey Kong Returns series, so hopefully they can improve their work environment.

  13. Has anyone even given thought to the possibility that just because these reviews aren’t faked, it doesn’t mean that that’s how the majority of the employees feel, or that these few aren’t lying due to prior grievances?

    A guy gets fired and writes a bad review.
    Surely anyone can see that there’s a bit of bias there?

    This “former employee” may just be blowing smoke because of their recent job loss.
    And if they left, well, I’m sure they had good reason, but I’d hesitate to say it’s because “half the team is expecting” anything like a full company shut-down for Retro.

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  15. I wonder….. is this for real or are these just opinions from someome whose personal projects ou insights were refused by the management board ? After all.. those guys donยดt work there anymore.
    On the other side… itยดs been a loong time since we last heard about any project related to the studio. Their last game was DKTF in 2014 and despite Tanabe and M. Kelbaugh saying, at that time, that the studio was involved in a new game, itยดs been too long. Maybe something there is in development hell due to the so-called poor management? I wonder..

  16. “Little to no empowerment” sounds like a low-effort Anita/Zoe-like employee who fancies herself a “developer” but isn’t of much use to anyone and thus didn’t get the undeserved raises her feminist overlords told her she deserves by virtue of being a woman, and is now lashing out against the company.

    The other employee seems mostly reasonable, Retro is indeed most likely not doing anything of use, otherwise we would have had some info by now since their last game was released in early 2013.

  17. Why would they though? Theyโ€™ve made great games, especially Metroid Prime. It would e a mistake to shut them down

    1. You realize that it’s the talent in the studio that made it good, not the studio itself? This shot happens in corporation: management gets shitty, studio is shut down, the actual workers are rehired under a new studio beneath a different branch, while the guys that are actually at blame, upper management, have to find a new management position with a black mark of business on their history.

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