A piping hot new E3 rumor suggests that Retro Studios, the Nintendo-owned developer behind the Metroid Prime trilogy, is making a Star Fox racing game. These rumors have been floating around gossipy Nintendo fan and writer circles for at least a few weeks now, but they’ve only gone public today, suggesting that Retro’s new game is called Star Fox: Grand Prix.
We’ve heard the same from a source plugged into goings-on at Nintendo, and we’ve also heard from two other sources that the Austin, Texas-based Retro had a separate project that went through a rocky development cycle and may in fact be canceled. The person familiar with this Star Fox racing game confirmed many of the details that have been floating around the web today, on Reddit and 4chan and Eurogamer and many other places. Grand Prix is said to be a lot like Diddy Kong Racing in that, unlike Nintendo’s other major racing series, Mario Kart, this game will have a story mode and boss battles.
Retro, which rose to prominence with its work on the seminal Metroid Prime and its two sequels, has spent the past decade with apes, first developing Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii and then supervising a port for 3DS, followed by Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U and then a port for Switch (which is phenomenal). Now, Retro appears to be switching animals, taking lead on the next game in a franchise that has been floundering. Star Fox Zero released in 2016 to mediocre reviews.
Last year, Nintendo announced Metroid Prime 4, then added that Retro would not be involved with the game. Neither company has said why. It may come as unwelcome news to longtime fans of the studio that Retro is working on a Star Fox racing game rather than a new Metroid Prime or a brand new IP, as many Nintendo fans have been hoping.
Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.