Later today we'll publish an exclusive and extensive interview with key members of the Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon development team, both from Next Level Games and Nintendo. We talk about Next Level Games' history of Nintendo games, and in detail about the development, design and concept behind one of the year's finest games to date.
One suggestion we made to Next Level Games was that it was moving up in the Nintendo world, in terms of the IPs with which it's being entrusted. It produced two Mario Football/Soccer titles before being entrusted with the Wii reboot of Punch-Out!!. With Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, the studio picked up an even more iconic character, not to mention the sequel to the GameCube launch title that's somewhat a cult classic. Ken Yeeloy, Dark Moon's Producer, responded when we quizzed him about whether the studio felt like it was stepping up with each release.
Haha, it kind of feels like that! I think we’ve also been tagged in some circles as the ones who can revive old Nintendo franchises. I think we’ve solidified our studio’s ability to collaborate with Nintendo to create high quality games. I am certainly excited to see what IPs we get to work on next!
Next Level Games seems to be hitting a similar stride to Retro Studios, in that respect, successfully rebooting two franchises for new audiences. Unlike Retro, however, it's independent and isn't formally a Nintendo second-party studio, though Yeeloy admitted that "it actually feels like we already are", while stating that the company is held to the same standards as Nintendo's subsidiaries.
As Retro has worked on the Metroid and Donkey Kong Franchises, and with Next Level Games stepping up to revive Luigi's solo adventures, we asked what the studio would like to work on next, given the choice. Bryce Holliday, Dark Moon's Game Director, fielded that one.
Really, we are grateful to work on any Nintendo IP but if there are any wish-granting entities listening out there, we would love a chance to work on a Zelda or Mario game!
Considering its efforts with Punch-Out!! and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, what franchise would you like to see Next Level Games work on? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check back on Nintendo Life later today for the full, exclusive interview.