Retro Studios, the developer behind games like Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, is rumored to be working on a Star Fox racing title.
Reported by Eurogamer today, a new round of rumors from reddit and image boards suggests that Reto Studios has been working on a project titled “Star Fox Grand Prix,” a sci-fi racing game not unlike Nintendo’s own F-Zero but with an action game twist. Eurogamer then went on to add that their own sources back up some of these rumors.
The reddit rumor described the game as “like Diddy Kong Racing mixed with F-Zero,” though Eurogamer reports that the user in question has a disparate record when it comes to posting rumors. It would be the first game for the studio since the release of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in early 2014, though the developer did a large amount of the porting and new content work on the recent Switch re-release.
We have heard many of the same rumors, though cannot and do not confirm the veracity of the sources. Rumors of the game have been swirling for several months in light of talk from some sources that Retro Studios’ title has been struggling, with many at both Retro and Nintendo growing frustrated with the state of the project. These sources did not confirm whether the project being worked on was this Star Fox title.
The last Star Fox game was Star Fox Zero for the Wii U, which landed in 2016 to at best apathetic critical reception. Nintendo has been struggling to keep the franchise relevant with games like Zero and the addition of Star Fox 2 on the SNES Classic last year, so a racing game with the license that follows the successful model of titles like Mario Kart might make sense for the company.
Regardless, the project is not confirmed, and Nintendo has not openly talked about what their Austin, Texas developer has been doing since Tropical Freeze. The only note Nintendo has given was during last year’s announcement of Metroid Prime 4, stating that Retro Studios is not working on the game and that a new developer will be working on the fourth title in the series. A LinkedIn post from February suggested Bandai Namco might be working on Metroid Prime 4 at least in part.
It is hard to say if these rumors are true, as rumors have a tendency to exist in a game of telephone and be used as foundations to back themselves up. The same thing gets repeated so often that it circles back and people believe in something because they heard it more than once. That said, if Retro is indeed working on a Star Fox racing title, hopefully they reveal it smartly, as I cannot imagine it going over well with an audience eager for Retro to make the same kind of mark they did with Metroid Prime.