Retro Studios

Location: Austin, TX

Founded: 1998

Website: http://www.retrostudios.com/

Retro Studios is the video game development studio founded by Jeff Spangenberg and responsible for the Metroid series. In May of 2002, Nintendo acquired Retro and reclassified the studio as a first-party developer of the Japanese company.


Notable Products

  • Mario Cart 7
  • Metroid Trilogy
  • Metroid Prime
  • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
  • Metriod Prime 3: Corruption
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns

What to Expect

Retro Studios is located in Austin, Tex., but works closely with colleagues from Nintendo of America in Redmond, Wash., and the Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto. As an organization solely dedicated to developing new and existing intellectual property for the Nintendo Corporation, the studio is a streamlined operation. Retro does not offer internship programs and has minimal entry-level careers. All quality assurance testing is handled through NoA in Redmond, thus there are no on-site game testing positions at Retro. Similarly, the vast majority of marketing and administrative tasks are the concern of corporate NoA, meaning that there are only limited positions available in departments like IT, human resources, facilities, and finance.

Employment opportunities are available for experienced, professional game developers in the areas of art, animation, design, programming, and production. Vacancies are posted on the Retro Studios website and in the career section of the Nintendo website. Applications and demo reels are not accepted through standard mail or e-mail; potential candidates must submit material only through the career portal. Most roles demand one to three years of experience in game development with at least one shipped title. Candidates should have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as game design, computer science, computer animation, or other similarly focused area.

Working within Retro Studios, you can expect a great deal of influence from senior developers of Nintendo’s lead teams in Japan. Legends in the video game world like Shigeru Miyamoto regularly offer input and guidance in the development of IPs like the next generation of Metroid titles. While the Austin studio has created its own unique culture within its walls, it still very much reflects the Japanese sensibilities and approach to game development. Applicants are not required to speak Japanese, but fluency in the language is beneficial and a valuable asset within the company.

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