Posted on April 20 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
So, by word of mouth, we have been told Retro Studios next big title for Project Café is, in fact, Eternal Darkness 2. For those unaware, Eternal Darkness was one of the single best games ever created in the GameCube era, a survival horror game that always warranted a sequel… but never got one. To get this out of the way, our source (who shall remain unnamed) works for a very large gaming studio and happens to have a friend or two working for Nintendo in Retro Studios. Oftentimes friends from different studios will share small tidbits of information about upcoming titles, and even go as far as to get each other into beta testing for games. However, we don’t have to just rely on this source to really provide weight behind this (I stress, this is a rumor, and not a fact). How is this even possible? What about Silicon Knights?
Our friends over at Kotaku confirmed last year that Nintendo had renewed the Eternal Darkness trademark, which of course sparked curiosity into whether or not we would see a second game. This is important to note, because since Nintendo owns the trademark it is likely that Silicon Knights (who at the time of creating the game was a second party developer for Nintendo, under contract and licensed by them to create Eternal Darkness) would not have to be the people to create the second game. It would also be a clear explanation for why a sequel was never made, especially after Silicon Knights flopped hard on the Xbox with Too Human. By the way, history lesson: Silicon Knights broke off their contract with Nintendo to create one with Microsoft, and naturally Nintendo wasn’t going to allow a franchise tag they own to go over to the competition. This, naturally, would explain why a sequel never happened.
In addition, Nintendo has never been one to really dive into the survival horror series themselves, let alone in the style of Eternal Darkness. So naturally, they wouldn’t have had a studio they thought they could trust to bring the name back. That is, of course, until their very own Retro Studios began to prove itself. The Metroid Prime Trilogy is arguably the best the Metroid series has to offer. Its atmosphere is the sort of thing that would convert well into a new Eternal Darkness. So not only does it logically make sense for Nintendo to turn to Retro to create the game, Nintendo themselves decided to renew the name just last year, ironically around the time that it is likely Donkey Kong Country Returns was just wrapping up its final development stages.
While this will remain a rumor until we get some official confirmation from Nintendo, wouldn’t it be just glorious to have Retro Studios behind this title? They certainly won’t turn back to Silicon Knights after they broke off the contract with Nintendo back in the mid 2000s after just two games, which likely created a bit of tension between the two parties. In addition, Silicon Knights’ latest game offerings have been less than stellar, and they recently laid off a stunning 26 developers. In the end, it would appear Nintendo may not think Silicon Knights (of which Nintendo does still own some stock) is fit to do a sequel. But Retro? That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.