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What could Retro Studios' upcoming Wii U game be?

Retro Studios is making a game for Wii U that is "a project everyone wants (them) to do," according to Eurogamer. How terribly vague! With E3 around the corner, and Wii U hype ramping up, we're almost certain to find out next Tuesday at Nintendo's press conference.

Retro is known for its Metroid Prime trilogy, a series that brought a Western edge to one of Nintendo's signature franchises. Following their work on their last Prime game, they compiled a trilogy collection, made Donkey Kong Country Returns, and collaborated on Mario Kart 7 with Nintendo EAD. As an integrated Nintendo developer based in the West, Retro is one of the few anchors Nintendo has to Western-style game development.

Though Nintendo has a wealth of properties that Retro could be working on for them, considering their profile and history, it seems like they'd be working on one of Nintendo's bigger franchises like Metroid or Zelda, moreso than anything else. If they're working on a game "everyone wants", we'll have to listen to what people have been asking for, or guess what they might expect.


Recent fan speculation suggests their Wii U game could be the next Zelda, in glorious high definition. This possibility is compounded by remarks made by Shigeru Miyamoto in an interview last December — "And I think when we talk about any other franchise, Zelda might be a possible franchise for (collaboration with Retro)." Retro's remarks concerning the nature of their next game were made the previous April, so one would have to assume Miyamoto is delicately dancing around the subject if it's true.

Though it might be hard to please fans, it'd be refreshing to see a Zelda made by anyone other than Nintendo's usual folks. Capcom made the Oracle games on Game Boy Color, and they were fantastic. While the Zelda series still delivers impressive experiences, recent games suffer from stagnation. The franchise could use fresh eyes, particular those of a Western developer, to bring some innovation to the more traditional aspects of inherent Zelda design. "Everyone wants them to do" a Zelda game might be a bit of a stretch, unless the statement means more "everyone will be happy to learn we're making this game, even though they may not have expected it."

Retro started the Metroid Prime games on Gamecube and finished the trilogy on the Wii. While it's possible their project is a new Metroid, it seems unlikely. Retro stated Prime 3 would be the last of the trilogy, focusing on closure. Considering their history with the franchise, this could easily be their next project, assuming "everyone wants it" is another of case of "Oh yeah, I guess we do. There'd be no objection to it here.

Star Fox is a possibility. Retro could introduce the same modern flair they brought to Metroid for a space combat game, although there is very little to support this idea. Fans of Star Fox haven't had a decent game in the franchise for years, so they'd certainly want Retro to be working on it.

There is a confirmed Pikmin 3 for Wii U in the works, though likely being made in-house by Nintendo. However, if Retro were working on it, collaboratively perhaps, chances are it'd be pretty good. People do want that game, although there's little reason to believe Retro itself would be the team fans want on the job.