According to a new report, the lead designer of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Stephen Dupree, has returned to Nintendo-owned Retro Studios after a two year hiatus away from the decorated studio. The report comes way of VGC, which is widely accepted as a reliable source, especially when the information pertains to the Japanese games industry. At the moment of publishing, it's unclear what project Dupree is returning to work on, but many believe it's to aid in the development of Metroid Prime 4, which is the only announced project at the studio. As you may know, previous reports have indicated the game is going through development issues, which explains why we haven't seen or heard anything since its announcement.
That said, there's also plenty of speculation that Dupree has returned to work on a new project. Retro Studios isn't known for being a two-game developer, but given that Dupree was a lead on Donkey Kong Country has many thinking he's returned to work on a new Donkey Kong game, which as of right now, is missing from the Nintendo Switch catalog.
In short, it sounds like Stephen Dupree has indeed returned to Retro Studios, but for now it's unclear what it could be for. That said, the leading possibilities are to aid in the development of Metroid Prime 4 or to spearhead a new Donkey Kong game. Unfortunately, even if it's the latter, we likely won't know for a long time. Nintendo has more or less suggested Metroid Prime 4 is still a ways off, let alone the game from Retro that will follow.
Anyway, as always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think. What do you want to see from Retro Studios after Metroid Prime 4? More Metroid? A new Donkey Kong? Or should Retro be given the opportunity to create something entirely new? Personally, I would love to see the studio take a crack at a new IP. A new Donkey Kong game would be great, but I'm not sure it really enhances the Nintendo Switch catalog.