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Retro Studios continues its hiring spree with a veteran GTA producer
Metroid Prime 4 developer’s latest hire joins following six years at Blizzard
Metroid Prime 4 developer Retro Studios continued its triple-A talent hiring spree this month, by recruiting a veteran Grand Theft Auto producer.
Marisa Palumbo joined the Texas-based studio this month, following six years working with Blizzard’s Overwatch team and nearly a decade at Rockstar Games.
At Rockstar, Plaumbo worked in production and as a producer for games such as Grand Theft Auto IV and V, LA Noire, Max Payne 3, Red Dead Redemption and Manhunt 2.
Retro had only started advertising for the lead producer role two months ago (thanks to VGC reader Júlio Rodrigo for the tip).
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 boss/AI designer, among other roles.
One recent recruit is Call of Duty: Black Ops veteran Bharathwaj ‘Bat’ Nandakumar, who joined as lead engineer having most recently served the same role for the PC version of Black Ops 4.
New Super Lucky’s Tale and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze lead designer Stephen Dupree also re-joined Retro in late 2019 after a two-year absence.
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.