Nintendo bought up Retro Studios to save it

The creator of Metroid Prime has told how Nintendo stepped in after the crisis.


In an interview, one of the creators of Metroid Prime talks about how Nintendo stepped in after the crisis to change the way they work. However, the Japanese multinational is known for being kinder to its employees and even shying away from marathon hours to delay major titles. Nintendo Life reported on an interview with Mike Wikan from the Kiwi Talkz podcast. The former key figure at Retro Studios spoke about the development of the first instalment in the Metroid Prime series and the gruelling final months before its release.

Mike Wikan gave the example of how he worked 48 hours straight with only one hour of sleep, and several 36-hour days, basically 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the studio for the last nine months of development. Wikan said that everyone wanted to quit with various job offers after that, but the game developer found out what was going on.



Nintendo bought Retro Studios to take over the company and put Michael Kelbaugh at the helm, completely changing the work philosophy. Wikan describes him as a great person; the former head of Nintendo’s quality department told them he would turn things around in a few weeks, and he kept his word, restoring faith in the company.

Mike Wikan admitted that he loved working at Nintendo. Wikan realised that there was some crisis regarding the second Metroid Prime game, but nothing like what he calls the “nine-month death march” experienced with the first game. Kelbaugh will remain CEO of Retro Studios.



Mike Wikan also talked about the development of Metroid Prime 4 in the interview and is confident it will be great. Wikan knows many designers leading the teams at Retro Studios when he was there, creatives who fully understand what means a Metroid game.

There’s still no news on the long-awaited fourth instalment in the Metroid Prime franchise, but we do know that Nintendo and Retro Studios are working flat out on it.

Source: Nintendo Life

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