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Mirror’s Edge art director joins Retro Studios
Jhony Ljungstedt also led art direction for many Battlefield titles
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst and Battlefield V art director Jhony Ljungstedt is the latest senior recruit at Retro Studios.
At EA’s Dice studio Ljungstedt has led art direction for several titles, including Battlefield 3: Close Quarters and Back to Karland, and Medal of Honor (2010).
Retro had been advertising for an art director role for more than a year, possibly for the upcoming Metroid Prime 4.
It’s currently unclear if Texas-based Retro is working on any projects in addition to Metroid.
Another recent hire at Retro is veteran Halo creative Kyle Hefley, who joined as the studio’s new lead character artist in August.
Hefley is a vastly experienced character modeller who has worked on more than 20 titles, including Call of Duty: Black Ops and Sleeping Dogs. Most relevant for Hefley’s new role, however, is his nine years at Microsoft’s 343 Industries.
The lead designer of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Stephen Dupree, has also returned to Retro Studios after a two-year absence.
Nintendo announced in early 2019 that it had decided to “restart development from the beginning” for Metroid Prime 4, with producer Kensuke Tanabe calling in series creator Retro to take over the project from its original, unannounced developer.
Retro has been hiring for Metroid Prime 4 ever since and its jobs page is still advertising for a lead animator and senior designer, among other roles.
Around half of the full-time developers who worked on Metroid Prime 3 remain at Retro Studios, according to VGC analysis conducted in August 2019.
It found that a core team of around 50 people worked full-time on the 2007 Wii shooter and around 27 remained at the developer, including four contractors made permanent.
Crucially, five of Metroid Prime 3’s 11 designers were still at Retro and potentially working on the upcoming Metroid Prime 4.
However, from the original Metroid Prime – which released almost two decades ago – less than 10 of the 40-plus team members remained at Retro and virtually all of the lead creators had moved on.