Tuesday , December 1 2020

Who is making Metroid Prime 4 in Retro Studios?


Few people welcome Metroid Prime home.

Jordan Shirani

Today, Nintendo announced that work on Metroid Prime 4 will begin "from scratch" and the development work will be returned to Retro Studios, the original three-part developer. Along with the development clock reset, the waiting for the fourth item in the already awaited series is likely to multiply, making it more and more frustrating for fans who are more impatient.

Despite disappointment, many seem to be thrilled with the idea of ​​the series returning to Retro due to Nintendo's transparency. It took more than a decade since Retro finally released the Metroid Prime game. The Metroid Prime game raises an important question. Accurately who Are you taking over the development of Metroid Prime 4?

To answer that question, we have created a list of core staff members who have left, and a list of key staff members who have remained in Retro since shipping Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in 2007.


Mark Pacini, former game director

Mark Pacini was a valuable contributor to the Metroid Prime series. He has been at Retro for 8 years as the chief designer of Metroid Prime and the game director of Metroid Prime 2 and 3. Pacini was right after Prime 3 with two other former Retro employees (listed below). Armature Studio (ReCore, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate).

Todd Keller, former art director

With Pacini, Keller left Retro in 2008 to form an armature. At Retro, Keller was selected as the artistic director of Metroid Prime 1 and 2 and Metroid Prime 3.

Jack Matthews, former technology lead

Jack Matthews finishes the Armature trio. Like Pacini and Keller, Matthews was named the three Metroid Prime games (the first engineer is the senior engineer and the third engineer is the senior engineer).

Three men were joined at Retro in the Ultimate Armature by two other major players: Metroid Prime 3 senior designer Tom Ivey and senior engineer Steve McCrea.

Bryan Walker, former senior producer

Another big loss for Retro was in 2012, when Bryan Walker, senior producer, left the company. Walker played an important role in the development of Metroid Prime 2 and 3. The importance of this series is evidenced in the final credits of each game. Walker is currently the executive officer of Temple Run developer Imangi Studios.

(Walker told IGN in an interview in 2009 that he could not defeat the Boost Ball Guardian of Metroid Prime 2 "without going into debug mode"

Mike Wikan, full-time designer

Mike Wikan was a senior producer for Metroid Prime and a senior designer for Metroid Prime 2 and 3. After working for Retro in 2011 for 11 years, Wikan joined Doom developer id Software.

Kynan Pearson, former level designer

About five months before Wikan started, level designer Kynan Pearson left Retro to perform multiplayer level design for Halo 4 and 5 at 343 Industries. Pearson designed both Metroid Prime 2 and 3 levels.

Marco Thrush & Andy O & Neil, former engineer

Marco Thrush and Andy O'Neil all used the Metroid Prime game in Retro. Thrush was an engineer at Metroid Prime 1 and a senior engineer at Metroid Prime 3, and O & Neil was a senior engineering engineer at Metroid Primes. This duo found Bluepoint Games, a studio with shadows of the colossus of 2018.

Elben Schafers, former senior artist

Elben Schafers, another former Retro employee, joined Thrush and O & # 39; Neil in Bluepoint in 2014. At Retro, Schafers was a Senior Artist at Metroid Prime and a Senior Artist at Metroid Prime 3. Schafers still works as a studio's chief environmental artist at Bluepoint.

Frank Lafuente, former engineering director

Frank Lafuente was another important part of the Metroid Prime development team at Retro. Lafuente started out as the "first contributor" to the first entry in the series before becoming Engineering Director of Metroid Prime 2 and 3. I joined the Insomniac Games in 2008 when I left the studio. He is currently Senior Game Play Manager at Daybreak Game Company (H1Z1).

Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, former chief engineer

Mark Haigh-Hutchinson has made a significant contribution as a senior engineer in the Metroid Prime trilogy. According to his book "Real-Time Cameras," he created a camera control system for three games in the series. Haigh-Hutchinson died of cancer in 2008, just a few months after the release of Metroid Prime 3.


Michael Kelbaugh, President and CEO

Perhaps two of the most important parts of the retro studio puzzle will still be there. The first is President and CEO Michael Kelbaugh. Michael Kelbaugh spent 15 years at Nintendo before being appointed Retro's president. According to Kelbaugh, the studio released Metroid Prime 2: Echoes in 2004 and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in three years.

Kensuke Tanabe, Producer of Metroid Prime Series

The second piece is Kensuke Tanabe, a Nintendo employee who produced all Metroid Prime games. Tanabe tapped to take over the production of Metroid Prime 4 in the leap. Even with the news of the studio shift, Nintendo called out Tanabe, saying he would work for "trust and cooperation" with Retro. As you can see from the list above, many of the leading developers are still in Retro, but Kelbaugh and Tanabe are a promising sign for Metroid Prime 4.

Ryan Harris, Director of Production

Ryan Harris worked as an assistant producer on all three Metroid Prime games and then worked as an assistant producer. According to LinkedIn's profile, Harris' work on this series varied from testing and submission process management to art and design pipeline management. He was appointed as the director of the studio in 2012, and he is still in that role.

Dax Palotta, Principal Animator

Dax Palotta has been an animator at Retro since 2000. Like Harris, he worked on all three games at Metroid Prime. In his 19 years in Retro, Palotta is now a major animator in the studio.

Of course, in the case of large projects, Retro certainly has a workforce, so we do not yet know the full range of development teams or other key players.

Are you disappointed that there are no series veterans in Retro? Or are you wondering if a new perspective can affect Metroid Prime 4? Please let us know through your feedback!

Jordan is a freelance writer of IGN. You can follow him on Twitter. @jdsirani.

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