An important figure has returned to Retro Studios, the developer behind the Metroid Prime series and both Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. VGC is reporting that Stephen Dupree, the lead designer of Tropical Freeze, has returned to Retro Studios after leaving for two years to work on Super Lucky’s Tale at Playful Corp.
Dupree, who also worked on DKC Returns and Mario Kart 7, could be working on Metroid Prime 4, the studio’s only current confirmed game. The game was restarted in early 2019 and handed over to Retro Studios (it was previously being worked on by an unconfirmed developer.) About half the core team behind Metroid Prime 3 is still at Retro Studios.
It’s also possible that Dupree has returned to work on another project, though. Tropical Freeze sold well over a million copies on the Switch, and it’s possible that Retro Studios will be put to work on a follow-up. The studio is currently hiring for multiple positions.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze received a 9/10 in our review of the Switch version. Reviewer Peter Brown called it “a fantastic platformer that’s bursting with creativity and expertly designed challenges.”