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.