Inside Retro Studios

Ever wondered what it's like inside the house that Samus built? Here's your chance to find out.

by

Once upon a time, back when the GameCube had just hit the market, Retro Studios was one of a handful of developers committed to making games exclusively for Nintendo's fledgling console. The Austin, Texas-based studio was founded in 1998, two years before the GameCube's unveiling at the August 2000 Space World event. The studio had a fairly low-key profile among the various heavy hitters that had already committed to develop for the hardware, but it managed to garner some interest due to a suite of titles slated for the new console. Retro's profile rose considerably when it was revealed as the developer of Metroid Prime, announced for the GameCube at E3 in 2001. Although the game now stands as one of the finest GameCube titles--not to mention a smart, slick revision of the classic franchise--public opinion was a bit different at the time. The studio withstood a seemingly never-ending volley of shots from fans convinced that Metroid Prime was going to go horribly wrong as a first-person shooter.

Fast-forward to this past week, when Metroid Prime 3: Corruption hit the Wii amid a bevy of anticipation from the massive Prime fan base that has accumulated over the course of two GameCube games, the original Metroid Prime and its sequel, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The critical and commercial success of both games cemented the Prime series as another in Nintendo's impressive stable of franchises that have made the company phenomenally successful. More importantly, they proved Retro had the skills to handle one of Nintendo's top properties.

Though the nearly nine-year-old studio is now a bona fide player, it's still a bit of a mystery to many. While Retro's games have been among the highest-profile titles on Nintendo's systems, not much has been heard from the studio itself. We recently had a chance to take some of Retro's precious time as it wrapped up development on Prime 3 for release outside the US. During a rare visit to Retro's modest offices, we heard from the team as work wound down. Over the next two days we'll be running interviews from that visit to give you insight into the team at Retro and Metroid's unique development process.

Discussion

85 comments
widdowson91
widdowson91

Retro studios have proved that even 3rd party developers can make games that rival Nintendo's own. Good on them, I loke the Metroid Prime games.

hellpolice
hellpolice

Agreed I know western developers can do better if they didn't sell out and spend more time in thinking on a fun well though game rather than focus so much in mundane concepts such as military FPS, etc. EA is the best example on releasing many mundane games for the sake of profits.

something1257
something1257

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

something1257
something1257

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Merl57
Merl57

Yeah I agree most western devs like EA are hardcore at churning out crap for profit

Mk200114
Mk200114

Way to go, Retro! Go Nintendo and go Texas!

jj_696
jj_696

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Arkk_Angel
Arkk_Angel

Retro is a great example of the talent found in Austin, TX. Way to represent Retro!!!

Arkk_Angel
Arkk_Angel

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Turisman4
Turisman4

Wouldn't it technically be "The House That Rebuilt Samus"?

Mac8457
Mac8457

Yea it doesn't work for me either.

shades843
shades843

has anyone else notice that there no video for the second section retro spective I can't seem to watch it and there no file to download

Nintenfreak165
Nintenfreak165

MP better than halo.Why or why not? Keep in mind graphics and voice acting don't make the game game play,story and characters do.(thats why I like nintendo)

DarkspineSonic0
DarkspineSonic0

Man this game looks awsome. "ahem" I shall get it at all costs. it will be cool to use the arm cannon with the wii remote

-Prime-
-Prime-

This was really cool. I always wondered what kooky stuff their studio contained on the inside. I worked an internship in Austin and while I was there I made sure to drive by their office building.

GreenXMega
GreenXMega

Can't those guys talk any quieter?

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

does anyone else hate the controll scheme for this game? I wish they gave you the option of using the gamecube controller. I am going to end up putting my foot through my TV

unclejohn0525
unclejohn0525

Good video feature, even if the music they had playing was far FAR to loud, lol. Well, with any luck, we can hope that Metroid Dread is coming out!

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

Cool, Retro is probably one of the greatest new generation of developers in the gaming industry. Can't wait to see what they do after Prime. Whatever it is, I know they'll work hard to make it the best it can be. :)

stanley2011
stanley2011

im sure going to miss the prime series.:D and what is raven blade

Willy105
Willy105

Retro should bring back Raven Blade.

kappareign
kappareign

sweet feature... i really like what retro did with the series. great stuff

eliotie
eliotie

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

iffy5
iffy5

i know it suks that metroid 3 aint out in europe yet and im still waiting(*sigh UK)

tnoamss
tnoamss

little question since mp corruption isn't out in europe for at least a month is there some sort of multiplayer?? and if there is is it something like mp hunter style or like echoes?

TheRoadHead
TheRoadHead

The funny thing about the 360 seen in the video is that if they were to do a 360 game it would so be a Halo killer, these guys are simply amazing. Just think if MP3 has the controls of the Wii with the power of the 360. And no i'm not a nintendo fanboy, if anything i'm just a sony hater (excluding the PSP).

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

Lolz how cool they play PS2 and Xbox360 too hahahaha :P They get inspired I reckon :D

vago92
vago92

In the video at 1:20 you can see a xbox 360 controller and a 360 game on the desk !

Willy105
Willy105

I still think metroid would had been awfull as a FPS. Good thing the Prime games are not FPS.

wiifan001
wiifan001

Metroid Prime was not classified as a first person shooter. They did not have the intention of making this a 1st person shooter with the morph ball mode and the lock on targeting, and when slowly free aiming upward.

mattster1134
mattster1134

Are they tring to recruit people. Because it is working. sign me up

MasterTheHero
MasterTheHero

EA could learn a thing or two from these guys.

A7Xfan
A7Xfan

Now onto Metroid Dread? I'm pretty sure they just declared themselves the "Metroid Team" soo...

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

I wish they didn't kill the Raven Blade game. I mean pouring all resources into the Prime games was probalby the best move, but it could have been shelved for later. Especially now with the Wii, I bet they could show the world how to make a proper sword-based wii game. (Yeah, I'm talking to you Ubisoft)

dwmorrow
dwmorrow

"The studio withstood a seemingly never-ending volley of shots from fans convinced that Metroid Prime was going to go horribly wrong as a first-person shooter." Uh, those volleys came from not only fans but the media too. I remember practically every media outlet I can think of, Gamespot included, wondering endlessly if Retro could successfully pull off transitioning the franchise to 3D. It was a fair question, but don't act like it was just the fans.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

Retro Studios have done an excellent job with the Prime games. I look forward to whatever they develop in the future.

jpwiz
jpwiz

I don't care how the rating system works, if theres a game thats as good as mp3 it should get at least a 9. I stopped playing mp2 very early in the game cause I got bored, but I can't stop playing this game. I havn't been this in to a console game in a while. Good job retro.

Enginwolf04
Enginwolf04

Retro Studios is one of my most revered development houses in the video game industry. I recall when I first picked up Metroid Prime, eager to play as Samus, since I hadn't played any Metroid game since the stellar Super Metroid on the SNES. Well, Metroid Prime 1 & 2 ended up being my favorite games for the last generation of games. Metroid Prime 3 will cause me to actually purchase a Wii (provided I can find one and provided I finish BioShock and Blue Dragon in the next 3 weeks before Halo 3 comes out). More development studios need to put in the effort that Retro pumps out to make a fine IP. To the long future of Retro!

superdance14
superdance14

Homer39 i know im going to get flamed for saying this, but MP3 is better than Halo 1 and 2, even without the multiplayer. i cant put it down. I agree with you 100%

flynow
flynow

Since Retro Studios did the most amazing job on the Metroid series...which classic Nintendo title would you like them to reinvent next? How about the remaking the Donkey Kong series since Rare was bought out by Microsoft? Or R.C. Pro-Am? Retro appears to be talented enough to take many titles to the next generation level. Great company! Thanks for the Metroid games, they all rock!!

retrofraction12
retrofraction12

I wounder what they are going to do since metriod pime is over?

zeky2k7
zeky2k7

mp3 is the best fps ever

shabulia
shabulia

Thanks for pointing that one out, Zero_Fate_. Yes! I think it's awesome that these guys are playing the competition. They are gamers and it gives implications of a friendly rivalry, not a heated one like what Microsoft has with Sony. The fact that Nintendo guys dig the 360 is just all sorts of kick ass. I guess I like it because I am just like minded with my Wii and my 360. Good eye, bro!

Homer39
Homer39

i know im going to get flamed for saying this, but MP3 is better than Halo 1 and 2, even without the multiplayer. i cant put it down.

123625
123625

THEY DEFINATLY did an awsome job i look foward to there future works mabye a new franchise of some kind?