Michael Kelbaugh is the current president of Retro Studios in Austin, Texas. Prior to this he worked at Nintendo of America in Redmond, Washington. He has been involved overseeing the development of titles at Retro Studios at a producer role.


Before working in the video game industry, Kelbaugh served as a communication manager on the US Navy's Special Warfare Command between 1983 and 1988. In December 1988, he joined Nintendo of America as a playtester.

The first game Kelbaugh is credited as working on is Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge, which he provided voice samples for. Following this he would work on many classic franchises including the Donkey Kong Country and Golden Sun franchises where he playtested and debugged titles. Gradually, he became a director of NOA's Business Development Group.

In April 11, 2003, NOA sent Kelbaugh to Retro Studios to become the president, succeding Steve Barcia, who was the president after Jeff Spangenberg was fired. Many employees threatened to quit the company because of this move, but Kelbaugh insisted that they wait a few weeks just to see, and if they still weren't satisfied, to leave. By the end of the few weeks, not a single employee left.

Ever since, Kelbaugh has overseen the development of various titles at Retro Studios, mostly on the Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country franchises.

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