E3 2013: Retro Chose Donkey Kong Over Metroid

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

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Donkey Kong

During the Nintendo Direct conference, Retro Studios revealed their game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze to the gaming masses with wild cheer. While the game does seem to have that Retro Studios touch, some fans were quite disappointed that it was a Donkey Kong game and not a Metroid title. Hours after Nintendo Direct, Retro’s president and CEO Michael Kelbaugh did admit that Metroid was a franchise that the company could of used for their new Wii U title.

During Nintendo’s software showcase at E3, Michael Kelbaugh told reporters that it was “hard to choose between Metroid and Donkey Kong,” but Retro had “unfinished business with Donkey Kong after Donkey Kong Country Returns.” While Metroid fans may find this quite disheartening, there is a possibility that Retro can still make a new title for the franchise  at a later date.

So what do you think? Did Retro choose the right franchise for their first Wii U game? Or was Metroid simply the better option?

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will be released on  November of 2013 exclusively for the Wii U.

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About Samuel North

A writer at Operation Rainfall, a lover of videogames, and an insomniac who can't tell what day it is. There really isn't much else interesting to say, except that I've eaten an entire box of ramen noodles in one sitting.




  • Bob

    I wish they had made this a 3D Donkey Kong game (ALA DK64) instead of basically just re-hashing the gameplay from the previous one.

    Not that it doesn’t look awesome, but it’s a missed opportunity IMO.

    • Bob

      Or even cooler, something completely different form this or Metroid. Have them make Star Fox, or F-Zero, or StarTropics. They’ve done well in reviving DKC, now have them revive something else!

    • Ryan Littlefield

      I partially agree, but I’m not sure how I’d feel with anyone doing a 3DK (heh) if it wasn’t Rare, I think it was all Rare who made that game shine, and given their studio now, I don’t think even they could do it. This is where I hope Mingy Jongo becomes a thing.

      As for the missed opportunity, I think they had concluded their work on the Prime Trilogy, and I think it would be odd for them to go back to that. DKC needed the attention and DKCR gave it that attention, and I’m glad it did. I think it would have been too much of a tease to drop DKCR and not have another, because I think that broke the surface on nostalgia in that franchise. I think it’s smart that they revisited DKC, and wouldn’t be surprised if they did at least one more before going back to Metroid or moving onto another franchise entirely.

    • Kyle Emch

      Donkey Kong Country Returns was a really great game, so I’m okay with a sequel to it. I’m just afraid that it’ll just become another franchise like New Super Mario Bros: endlessly remaking the same game to the point where any sense of freshness and wonder is gone and it becomes old hat.

    • Bakuryukun

      Somehow I don’t think that’ll happen with Retro involved, it seems they’ve added a lot of new ideas into this game. More it seems than New Super Mario Bros. innovated in it’s entire existence. Retro knows how to keep it fresh I think.

    • Bakuryukun

      I wasn’t a fan of DK64 but I loved the original Country trilogy and Returns and this game seems like it has quite a few new ideas to keep it fresh. So I’m glad things are going this way. I’m actually hoping they’ll do an excellent trilogy of DKC games before moving onto something else much like they did with Metroid.

  • Alan Van Dalsem

    we just got a Dk game on the 3DS, its too soon for another DK game. They SHOULD of been working on a spiritual sequel to the Metriod Prime Trilogy, and have it be an amazing first-person action adventure that would rival HALO 5 (but with actual planetary exploring and a bit of puzzle solving) IMO.

    • Aqua

      that 3DS DK game is also just a re-release of the same one that came out on the Wii almost three years ago, it’s not a new title with new level design or any new mechanics. i feel they’re going to do the same thing with DK here that they did with Metroid; release a few games and progressively polish the gameplay as they go along before wrapping up a possible main trilogy (hopefully K. Rool and the Kremlings would show up in the game after Tropical Freeze, if it were to happen) before they decide to move onto another series or back to Metroid.

      i’ll be honest though, i’d love to see these guys handle Star Fox, F-Zero, or even Earthbound!

  • Zimmer Remmiz

    I’d assume that they picked DK first so that they could get used to the hardware before tackling Metroid, from what he said it sounds like they just decided to do DK first not that they decided to not do Metroid, and considering how close DK is to release I would assume that they are probably planning Metroid as we speak…

  • Cameron Ward

    I think its awesome they are not doing another Metroid game. I never got into the Prime series of games, but i really loved DKCR. gameplay wise, i prefer Other M to Prime. I think they should tackle other franchises like F-Zero and not fall back on Metroid

  • Tim Mazzola

    Personally I was hoping for them to tackle a different IP, but I certainly can’t complain. “Returns” was an absolutely top-notch platformer and this looks even better.

  • John Ellis

    if it was a hard choice that could mean they will make one after this. Though that could of just been a political statement.

  • Tony Lee

    I was a little disappointed with the news, as I was hoping Retro was either reviving a dead franchise or making a new IP, but it’s good to know it was Retro’s choice to work on DK. Would not have wanted them to be forced to make a game they weren’t interested in.

  • april

    If you’re just going to remake a game you’ve made so many times before make a 2D Metroid game!

  • Ben Baker

    I was really hoping for Star Fox… I really just wanted a new Star Fox game :/

    • Kyle Emch

      We all want a new Star Fox game. 🙁

    • Ben Baker

      I feel like this game and the work done on Mario Kart 7 are just side-projects, and that Retro’s actual game is something absolutely massive. I doubt this is the case, but this particular game shouldn’t be all that difficult to make, being able to use assets from the previous DKC game.

  • Shadao

    I prefer Donkey Kong Tropical Country than another Metroid Prime game. While the Metroid Prime series is a good game series, its story is already done and nicely concluded and needs a long rest for any new ideas. Although many people want Metroid Prime 4, I feel that Retro should not go back to Prime. Mainly because the reason why people want Prime 4 is to use it as a nostalgia sandbank to put their heads in like cartoon ostriches to ignore Other M’s existence. This is not a good justification for Prime 4. It does not address the problems of Other M nor will it successfully improve the good aspects of Other M. If Retro should be making another Metroid game, then they take the gameplay of Other M and make it great, just like how they did with Donkey Kong Country.

  • Nicholas Perry

    Looks fine to me. I’m happy.

  • Terribilita

    The Wii U needs Metroid. Simple as that. It needs a unique, truly hardcore game to show sceptics and those on the fence what the Wii U can do, and how well Nintendo can do hardcore games. For this purpose, it seems as though Metroid would be the perfect candidate for this, preferably as another Prime game. It’s a safe bet that Tropical Freeze will be a stellar game, but the Wii U doesn’t need another side-scrolling platformer as much as something more hardcore. Ask yourself this: would you buy a Donkey Kong platformer (of which there is still one available on the market right now), or a Retro-produced Metroid title? Which would be the better system seller? What would get gamers more excited to play? Donkey Kong looks undeniably great, but Metroid is what the Wii U needs now.

    • Shadao

      Judging by the sales, Donkey Kong Country Returns sold almost 5 million copies, compare to the Metroid Prime’s 2 million, which by the way was the highest selling Metroid game to date.

    • majorasmaskfan

      Well Nintendo wants the hardcore gamers back and metriod is a much more core franchise. just cause other m was less the favorable (it was not even that bad) sega had 3 god awful sonic games in a row shadow, 06, rings and they still made unleash which was good. i am tired of mario and donkey Kong is apart of that universe.

    • Matt Taylor

      I don’t know why a good and honest, truly difficult platforming experience is not considered hardcore gaming. Its way more hardcore than any AAA space marine shooter I’ve ever played. Can’t recount how may times I screamed the ‘C’ word at DKC Returns on Wii. Never done that at Halo… Or any of that other ‘for the masses’ bullshit.

  • Forbsz

    No they’re making another game why would they hire staff from naughty dog and people who worked on SOCOM for a donkey kong game.