Retro Studios

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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 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.

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 recent release was Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U.

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.[1]

Games developed by Retro StudiosEdit

Canceled ProjectsEdit

  • Action Adventure (canceled in favor of Metroid Prime)
  • Car Combat (Thunder Rally)
  • NFL Retro Football
  • Raven Blade (canceled in favor of Metroid Prime)

Nintendo GameCubeEdit


Nintendo 3DSEdit

  • Mario Kart 7 (2011)

Wii UEdit

  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (2014)


  1. ^ 2013-09-20, Retro Will Be Strongly Considered for the Next Metroid Game. IGN, accessed on 2013-09-21

External linksEdit

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