Super Smash Bros. will be a collaboration with Bandai Namco

Last year at E3 2011, Nintendo announced that a new Super Smash Bros. title would be coming to not only the Wii U, but the 3DS as well. We all know that series designer Masahiro Sakurai has been pivotal to the success of the franchise, he has after all been with the game since day one on the Nintendo 64. It was thought that his studio, Project Sora, would be the studio to helm the project now that Kid Icarus: Uprising has been seen to completion, but as was revealed in last night’s Nintendo Direct, Sakurai will have some help this time around from an unlikely source.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS is being developed by Bandai Namco according to Nintendo, with Sakurai leading the all-star team of developers. We can expect developers that span the gamut from Tekken to Tales working closely with Sakurai on the title, and by the looks of things, it will lead to a bigger and better Smash Bros.

See what Bandai Namco’s own Masaya Kobayashi had to say about the collaboration:

In order to make Mr. Sakurai proud, we will take on this project with NAMCO BANDAI’s best staff! Yoshito Higuchi, the producer and the director of the “Tales” series, Tetsuya Akatsuka, producer and director of “Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs.,” the art director/sound director of the “SoulCalibur” series, the main development team staff from the “TEKKEN” series…and that’s just for starters. All the top creators from NAMCO BANDAI are gathered here to create a never-before-seen dream team for this project. We will fully utilize our experience and knowledge in action/fighting game development, technical capability, and organizational strength, and we hereby promise you that we will develop the best and most powerful “Super Smash Bros.” title ever! Don’t miss it!

What it sounds like to me is that with last year’s announcement of not one but two Smash Bros. titles, Nintendo bit off more than they could chew. Just think. If Project Sora was tasked with creating the two games with no outside help, it would be years before the games would be ready to ship. Through this collaboration, Nintendo will have its Smash Bros. title in a (hopefully) timely manner, while at the same time allowing fresh ideas to flow into the game because of the new development team. It’s a win win.

I sure can’t wait to see how the development of this game pans out in the long run, although I’m not too sure we will learn much more about the game anytime soon. My best guess would be that we see our first true gameplay footage at next year’s E3, so don’t hold your breath just yet.

Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.


  1. *Anything* than gets this game out ASAP is fine with me! 🙂 Actually, I’d be perfectly happy if the 3DS version was a quick-as-possible port of Brawl with Miis and functioning online added. That would be preferable to waiting ’till the end of the 3DS’s lifespan. The fact that they’re just getting started on it makes me think — again — that Nintendo really doesn’t properly understand how important certain franchises (Smash Bros., core Pokemon RPGs) are to selling their hardware. It took them forever to realize that, yeah, Mario at launch does make a difference.

  2. I love Ssb but hate pushing up to jump. If they fix that, I will 100% love the game. Right now I am at about 90%

  3. Richard, it’s not Nintendo’s fault the game is being started so late.

    They announced it before Sakurai had even STARTED the game. Just like what they did with Brawl, Reggie said it live, and Sakurai was in the background saying “wait wut? Who’s making Smash? I am? But I haven’t even started it!”

    Plus, Sora Ltd had their hands full with Kid Icarus Uprising and you can see INSTANTLY that it was time well spent. The game is just a blast all around. Damn near perfect if I say so myself. So Sakurai decided to wait and get that title finished and shipped before even drawing the logo for the next Smash Bros. Then he realized that his team was taking up TWO games, one for 3DS and one for Wii U, and instantly realized that there was no way he could get this game out in a timely manner with his crew alone. (Remember, Sora Ltd is still a small group after only recently leaving from HAL (recently in the past five or ten years if I’m correct)) So Nintendo calls up Namco-Bandai, and honestly this can only lead to good things. The Tekken series alone is a masterpiece, and I’m jumping up and down just from that thought alone.

    Besides, we ALL know that games at launch never take advantage of the hardware’s full capabilities. Do we really want a watered down version of Smash? They already rushed MK7 and I’m still upset about that.

  4. Travis, you don’t have to press Up. In SSB64 you could use any of the C buttons, in SSBM you could use the X and Y buttons, and in SSBB you could use the same controls as SSBM.

  5. Wakko1337, you are a much more patient fan than I am! 🙂

    Kid Icarus Uprising is one of the best games I’ve ever played; you’ll get no argument from me that its development was time well spent. But does Sakurai absolutely have to supervise every second of a new Smash Brothers creation? If I were in charge of Nintendo, I’d have had the 3DS version of SSB in development the moment work on the new handheld began — hire more talent and make it happen.

    I’m sure it will be awesome when it arrives. But there’s a part of me saying, “Life’s short, Nintendo needs sales, and not every game has to be as insanely deep and feature-filled (for instance, including an entire epic sidescrolling adventure as a bonus!) as Brawl — Not when it could take a system’s entire life span to make it happen. I think Nintendo’s learning this, too, when they compare the development time vs. sales for, say, Skyward Sword against what’s gonna happen with New Super Mario Bros. 2. I certainly don’t want a cruddy, rushed SSB, but…Somewhere, there’s a good compromise between vision and financial reality. I do think bringing Bandai aboard to speed things up is a great step in the right direction.

    In short, I don’t see why Smash Brothers and Kid Icarus couldn’t have been in development simultaneously, even if it meant Sakurai had a tiny bit less involvement.

    OR, as an alternative, they could have pulled an Ocarina with Brawl and gotten a quick-but-great-looking 3DS port of SSBB out ASAP to keep fans happy (and systems selling) while still working on the true sequel. Yeah, I’d have been very happy with that arrangement…even if they had to leave out Subspace Emissary! 🙂

  6. All I have to say is that I hope they don’t add half circle joystick combo moves or what have you, because I SUCK at trying to do half circle related moves! I never get them right! DX Any fighting game that DOES have those, all I can do is button mash and hope for the best… It sucks, believe me, the controls hate me when it comes to requiring a half circle input! I was playing Skullgirls the other day, and I could only get those types of moves to work about half the time.

  7. Lord Lemmy, you can’t even do a Hadouken then? :O

    And Richard, like I said, people don’t know how far a system can really go in the first few months. We all know a 3DS can handle N64 games and we knew that right away, but I’m not sure they thought it could handle a full scale Wii game like Brawl.

    Not saying I wouldn’t have played it until the cartridge broke if they pulled it off.

  8. Because we all know hoe well Namco did when Nintendo gave them Star Fox. L _ L

  9. @ Wakko1337: Okay, how about a quick online-enabled port of Melee, then? Or at least a re-work of the original SSB? I mean, we got Galaxy a year after Wii launched; how far before system launch was that game cooking? I think Nintendo could put far more resources into first party games than they seem willing to risk at any one time.

    Yeah, I know, it’s easy for me to talk when it’s not my company and career on the line. 🙂

  10. Lol I honestly think if they put Melee out, it would have sold out in the first week.

    And Drahken, you mean those awesome Gamecube games that I still play to this day because of how fun they are?

  11. I was referring to Star Fox Assault. I’m guessing you weren’t because you said “games”, plural, and “awesome”, which it most certainly was not. It was a travesty. In a game called “Star Fox”, I expect to be in flying around in the stars more than I’m running around on the ground.

  12. Assault was an amazing game. Incredibly fun multiplayer, too.

    Gee, if you’re going to be mad about change, why don’t you hate SF Command too while you’re at it? At least that game was an honest pile of garbage.

  13. Honestly I don’t understand all the flack Nintendo is getting for having Bandai Namco develop this game. Sure, Star Fox: Assault wasn’t the best Star Fox title, but it was still a fun experience.

    If you look at the dev team involved in Assault, they were composed mostly of developers from the Ace Combat 2 team. The only person that will be involved in Smash from the Assault team is Tsuyoshi Kobayashi, and it looks like he will take on more of a producers role.

    Calm down folks. Smash Bros. will be in good hands, I promise you.

  14. @ Wakko1337

    I can, but only maybe half the time. Sometimes more, sometimes less. XP Sometimes the controls work well for me – for a short time. More often than not, I just wind up doing crouch moves or what have you.

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