One of the GameCube's first announced RPGs is no more, and Retro Studios is now totally focused on Metroid Prime.
The online gaming community is already abuzz about the newest Retro layoffs and yet another game cancellation. The news was first reported by IGNcube this morning. We contacted Retro Studios and Nintendo of America ourselves to confirm the report and find out what we could. Nintendo did not (and most likely will not) send out an official press release with this information; the following memo was circulated to NOA employees, and is the source of IGN's report.
Retro, along with Nintendo, has decided its most effective approach as a
video game developer is to focus on Metroid and give it the attention the franchise deserves. To do that, they refined staffing and are laying off 26 people, mainly the team that worked on Ravenblade. Ravenblade is now cancelled. It was a business decision and clearly based on the need to
focus on Metroid and ensure it's a great game and also on the resources that
would been needed to finish Ravenblade.
Metroid will be a 2002 game with no date specified at this time.
This announcement seems to confirm previous reports that RavenBlade's development team was having low morale and difficulty in moving the game along.
The only good side to all this is that Retro Studios now has only one announced game, and all their resources are presumably being channeled to it. Nintendo obviously expects Metroid Prime to be a AAA title, and their actions with Retro reflect that intent.