GamePro discusses the lack of online features in Metroid Prime: Corruption and the trials of releasing the series in Japan with Retro Studios.
In an interview with Michael Kelbaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Retro Studios, GamePro discovered details relating to Metroid Prime: Corruption and the future of the Metroid franchise. Most notably, Kelbaugh confirmed that Corruption won’t contain any online components and is the end of the Metroid Prime trilogy.
Will Metroid Prime 3 have any online modes?
No. It’s something we talked about early on, but we only have so many resources. We opted to devote those resources to making a better single-player experience.
Are there any unique challenges to being an American development studio working on a game for a Japanese company?
Well, let me refine that question a little bit. It should be: Are there any unique challenges to being a Western developer working in the Nintendo development environment? Because, really, that is where the challenge is. The challenge is applying Western methodologies in development and having those fit with Nintendo’s expectations as they relate to quality. Which is very, very refreshing because it’s never a situation where it’s date-driven, it’s always quality-driven. It’s never, “Okay, regardless of the game’s condition, it’s coming out August 30th.”
But on the flipside of that, we work for Nintendo, we are Nintendo, and the expectations for our games are intense. So meeting the quality standards for a Nintendo I.P. [intellectual property] is exceptionally challenging.
Do you think that they hired you guys, originally, to do these games because first-person shooters are kind of a Western thing? Because as I understand it, Japanese gamers are not as enamored of first-person shooters as Westerners are.
Yeah, first-person shooters or first-person adventure games don’t do well at all in Japan.
Do the Metroid Prime games do well over there?
Not necessarily. It has nothing to do with the I.P. or the franchise, it’s just that this style of game isn’t popular. It sells well, as far as the genre is concerned, but it’s like how traditional Japanese simulation games aren’t that popular over here. So it would only make sense to have a Western developer work on a first-person game.
Corruption has been referred to as the third part of a trilogy, which is something that annoys me. How can the third part of anything be called the third part of a trilogy…until they do a fourth one. But is this the end of a trilogy, and when you started working on it, did you approach it as the end of a larger story?
We knew from the get-go that Corruption was the end of a trilogy. We knew from a design sense and the story that we were putting the button on the Prime franchise for the time being.