As part of Gamasutra's latest feature
, a Donkey Kong Country Returns
interview, Retro Studios president Michael Kelbaugh shares insight into becoming a Nintendo-backed studio.
When asked what has enabled the team to transform into a studio that can develop Nintendo franchises like Metroid
and Donkey Kong Country
, Kelbaugh says, "It's patience, mentorship -- a lot of mentorship, a lot of help from our friends at Nintendo."
Staff is also key. "It's investing in the right people. It takes time... You have to hire people that are motivated by making quality product, not by how many units they sell.
"There's not a book that I could say, 'Read this and you'll know how to make Nintendo games.' You learn how to do it by experience -- experience and mentorship -- That's really the only way you do it," he says.
"So it's really as simple as that, but it's not simple at all. It takes a lot of work. Ten, years, well 12 years, and we've made a lot of progress, but we don't have it down yet. We still have a lot to learn, you know. It changes."
The full interview, which also features extensive answers from Nintendo EAD producer Kensuke Tanabe, is live now on Gamasutra