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Metroid Prime devs move on to bigger, better things

September 19, 2008

Three of the creative talents from Metroid Prime dev Retro Studios have left to head a new, EA-funded dev house. Armature Studio, as it’s called, is located right in Austin so the Texas-based Retro guys don’t have to go very far. Mark Pacini (Game Director), Todd Keller (Art Director), and Jack Matthews (Principal Technology Engineer) signed a publishing deal with EA 3 months after forming the studio.

The guys at Armature are excited to work on other current-gen platforms, some having only worked on Nintendo platforms in their career. “From my stand point, I’ve never worked on any other console,”  said Pacini. “I’ve always made games for Nintendo. I’m reinvigorated. I’m really excited about what other opportunities are out there. How can we use Xbox Live? How can we use the power of the PS3? …I’m not saying it was by any means restrictive working for Nintendo. We had this palette to work on, the Wii and the DS, but now we have everything.”

Armature is an experiment for EA that will allow them to make larger-scale games with a small sized team comprised entirely of industry vets, allowing them to take more risks during development. “It’s really reasonable to go out on a limb and take a risk that we kinda think might be cool,” Pacini said. “That’s the sort of environment we are trying to set up. That’s what we are about as a studio.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2008 5:37 am

    Is this bad news? I can’t figure it out. I loved what Retro did with the Prime series and I felt very fulfilled with the third Prime instillation.

    Not that these people will make or break the Prime series of games for Nintendy… but Prime was really the only 1st (but really second) party game I felt compelled by. I don’t know what to expect from these guys, but I am sure it be better with out the WiiMote attached.

  2. September 22, 2008 10:24 am

    I’m not sure if it’s bad news exactly, but it might hurt the franchise ever slightly. More than anything i take it as good news that these guys are out from under Nintendo’s thumb and can potentially make something cool for a platform i actually use. Remember those two or so games they were making before Nintendo propositioned them to make Prime? They looked sorta badass. At least people made them seem badass, but what potential gem doesn’t when spoken about post-mortem?

    [Raven Blade]

    I doubt that these 3 guys alone will resuscitate this game or the others — since Retro Studios is otherwise still intact — but you never know.

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