Nintendo Not Developing Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U?
Okay, let’s make this clear first and foremost. The Super Smash Bros. franchise is coming to the Wii U and the 3DS. However, while Nintendo will publish the title(s), they aren’t developing them, Namco Bandai is. Now to be perfectly clear, the Smash Bros. series has never been an “in-house” development project for Nintendo (the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube iterations were both developed by HAL Laboratories, while the Wii iteration was developed by an “ad hoc development team” consisting of Sora Ltd., GameArts, and some of the employees at HAL). Still, it’s interesting to see them intrust one of their most popular franchises to a company that isn’t a Nintendo subsidiary.
That said, it appears that Namco Bandai is committed to making the best Smash Bros. game it can. According to Kotaku, they’ve been pulling their best talent from a number of different franchises; talent like the producer and director of the Tales series, the producer and director of Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs., the art and sound director of the Soul Caliber franchise, and the bulk of the Tekken development team. It should be noted that the project lead of the first three Smash Bros. games, Mr. Masahiro Sakurai, will be taking up the reigns once again as the project lead.
I find this to be an extremely interesting move by Nintendo. Mr. Sakurai is staying on as project lead, but the rest of the game is being developed by a team that knows fighting games. Both the Tekken and Soul Caliber franchises have become two of the premier 3D fighting games in the industry. One the one hand, it should be extremely interesting to see what a team that thrives in the fighting genre can do with the Smash Bros. franchise; on the other hand, I really don’t want Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U to be a cartoony Tekken or a 4-player Soul Caliber.
- Chris Hayes