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Because they had the talent to make a new and original IP, and how many people whine that Nintendo just keeps on rehashing old IPs? Many! It's not a dangerous thing to test new waters if the money is there. Raven Blade looked like a good idea back then and I still have no idea why it got cancelled really. MP series I am guessing. But as an artist myself I am sure these guys would love to do something fresh, or at least not just DK and Metroid. Experimenting is always a good thing.
YEah, sure, they could make more DKC games and I agree they could have done more in general after TF since we've seen very little (the port to Switch did not take that long, I am sure), but if they have their own dedicated DK team even then they can't reinvent the wheel every time.