After months of eager anticipation, we finally learned what Retro Studios have been working on for the Wii U: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Many Nintendo fans (ourselves included) were disappointed that the team behind Metroid Prime weren't developing a new franchise entry, but the team might well return to Samus at some point in the future.
“We love Metroid," Retro boss Michael Kelbaugh told IGN. "We love Metroid Prime and we always will. It was a big part of our studio, the culture of the studio. The majority of that team is still at Retro.
“When we finished with DK, we still had a lot of really cool ideas. That, in combination with what the Wii U could do, we really wanted to continue with that. Again, Retro Studios loves Metroid. We might do another one someday. But we really enjoyed working with DK as well.”
So why didn't they work on another Metroid title in the first place? Apparently they had unfinished business after developing Donkey Kong Country Returns, and a few features that they weren't able to implement before.
"After Donkey Kong Country Returns we had a lot of gas left in the tank." Kelbaugh explained in a Nintendo Direct presentation (below). "There was a lot of cool things we wanted to do - the underwater levels, the 3D camera. We were just very exited about working with Donkey Kong and wanted to continue that and the Wii U hardware allowed us to do a lot of really new cool tricks."
It seems we'll have to wait for Samus to make her next-gen return, but Nintendo executive Kensuke Tanabe has a few hints at where the franchise could go. "Basically I’m thinking of, not just Samus, but how we can expand the whole Samus universe," Tanabe said. "You remember Metroid Prime Hunters. I’m thinking about things like how we could make that go out further, with all these different bounty hunters as well."
Frankly we think that Platinum Games should have a crack at it.