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Metroid Prime developer reveals intense crunch on Nintendo classic

"Two times I was there for 48 hours straight with one hour of sleep."

A former Retro Studios developer has recalled the intense period of crunch he experienced before the launch of Metroid Prime.

Speaking on the Kiwi Talkz podcast (thanks, IGN), former senior game designer Mike Wikan recalled occasions back in 2002 where he had just one hour of sleep over a 48-hour shift.

Thankfully, Nintendo's subsequent buyout of the studio helped turn things around, with the parent company enacting change and cutting crunch in subsequent sequels.

"I had two times where I was there for 48 hours straight with one hour of sleep, and then a couple of 36 hour days," Wikan recalled. "The last nine months we were pretty much there 24/7, working on the game.

"To their credit, Nintendo realised what was going on, and they came in and took over the company, [they] bought it out."

Wikan also recalled his work on Metroid Prime Trilogy, the Wii re-release of all three Metroid Prime games to date. It was the work of a core four-person team, he said, with Nintendo heavily consulting on the project to ensure its lore files fitted with its wider Metroid plans.

20 years later, Retro Studios is now back on Metroid Prime development duty, after a run of work on Donkey Kong and other Nintendo projects.

This time around, Nintendo brought Retro Studios in to reboot Metroid Prime 4's development, after an earlier stab by Bandai Namco was decided to be not up to standard.

Originally announced at E3 2017, we've seen nothing of the project since beyond a logo. There's no word on when the rebooted game will surface.

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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