Nintendo is buying Canadian developer Next Level Games, it has been announced.
The studio – which has created titles such as Luigi's Mansion 3, Mario Strikers Charged, Punch-Out!! and Metroid Prime: Federation Force – will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nintendo.
Next Level – which was established in 2002 – has been working closely with Nintendo for quite some time now, but in the past has also collaborated with the likes of Activision (Transformers: Cybertron Adventures), EA (NFL Hitz Pro) and Sega (Captain America: Super Soldier). However, in recent years, the studio has described itself as a "AAA Nintendo developer" and made it clear that it is focused on Nintendo systems, so the purchase makes a lot of sense from that perspective.
Nintendo states that the acquisition means the company can "secure the availability of Next Level Games development resources, including development expertise” and "facilitate an anticipated improvement in development speed and quality by enabling closer communication and exchange of staff with the Nintendo development team."
The deal is expected to become official on March 1st this year.
[source nintendo.co.jp, via perfectly-nintendo.com]
Great news for a great developer!
The cmc news completely ruined my entire day, so this brought some happy to it at least. Good decision by nintendo
It'll be interesting to see what they develop next as I'd assume it'll be something other than Luigi's Mansion. I'd love for Mario Strikers to finally get a new game but something completely different and interesting is fine too.
That's cool. I think if they have the confidence to buy the developer and give them Luigi's Mansion to make sequels too, maybe they can pitch a new Strikers games with confidence.
YA 2021 is looking good.
Well, considering Next Level games did say some years ago they would only be making Nintendo games from now on, I'm not surprised.
Welcome aboard! You've made some great games, Next Level.
This is great news, although I didn´t know they weren´t part of Nintendo yet lol.
Pretty good developers, these ones. It´d be good if they brought a Mario Strikers and a Punch Out to Switch. Or perhaps a new IP.
The next ones should be Level 5. I´m so sad they´re in this bad situation lately, delaying everything, not releasing their games in the West anymore... They´re great developers as well.
This is good news, and I hope they will buy some more studios this year to keep up with Sony and Microsoft
Wonder if Nintendo will move them into a bigger office and expand their operations? Maybe merge them under one roof with Nintendo Canada?
Federation Force 2 on the Switch for the Metroid anniversary!
These are their games FYI. Bit of a mixed bag but I loved Mario Strikers and hear Luigis Mansion 3 is good but not played it myself. Hopefully closer working with Nintendo will keep the quality high.
NHL Hitz Pro
Super Mario Strikers
Mario Strikers Charged
Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
Ticket to Ride
Transformers: Cybertron Adventure
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
Captain America: Super Soldier
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
Metroid Prime: Federation Force
Luigi's Mansion 3
Probably makes no difference from the consumer side.
That's great, probably will mean more great games from them.
Sniffles And highers the chance of a new Mario Strikers.
Great to see, I love Punch Out!! on Wii.
I liked Federation Force.
So Mario Strikers when?
But NLG are a great developer with a great pedigree of titles. LM3 was good but not great so I hope the Nintendo acquisition gives them more development power, either manpower or funding, to really make their next game something special.
Punch-out and Luigi’s Mansion revitalised.
Now time to revitalise WaveRace surely!!
The physics in LM3 were very impressive I’m sure with the help of the big N they could master water physics no problem. Or snow physics...
Nice! They don’t buy studios often. Hope this works out well.
i only ever associated the studio with nintendo, so this is nice to hear. hope their games can continue to strive
@Dezzy faster and higher quality development? Sound great for consumers
Good news. Seems a smart acquisition. Nice to see Nintendo adding a Western developer.
If this is the start of a few acquisitions by Nintendo, I'd like to see them buy Konami or Sega and make use of some of their underutilised franchises.
Awesome 👏 I think
Microsoft's shopping spree is costing everyone money. I'm guessing Next Level produces at least 1 in every 15 Nintendo exclusives, and there isn't a way to replace that if the competition snap them up.
New Mario Strikers when???
Maybe, but that sounds like generic business speak to me. Just means they didn't have anything else to say but needed to make it sound positive.
@Zyph I liked it too. Though the problem was the connectivity was super flaky. It would constantly randomly drop out a team member and then they couldn't join back in where they left off, the other players (or player, single in my case as only two of us were playing) were left to either die trying to complete something that needed multiple people or get through the rest on their own whilst the person who got booted out waits. And those levels were quite long.
If they polished it up for Switch and fixed the multiplayer issues I'd definitely buy it again.
I hope they do Starfox 64 remastered
It's about time Nintendo tied the knot. Especially given the competition is on a far more ambitious buying spree.
is nice to see Nintendo buying more development studios to add to it portfolio of development studios, specially Next Level Games that made the amazing Luigi Mansion 3.
@Dezzy historically, taking 2nd/3rd party studios in and make it 1st party have a positive affect on the development cycle
I wonder if there are more acquisitions to come
May as well imo, they are practically a first party studio already.
I am not a fan of all this corporate MNA, with its subsequent loss of creator independence (see: Bioware, for a Canadian example). That being said, from NCL's standpoint, it makes sense, and Vancouver is a more convenient and culturally compatible port of call than Austin, Texas.
Wonder if Nintendo will move them into a bigger office and expand their operations? Maybe merge them under one roof with Nintendo Canada?
@NinChocolate Even more importantly - will the new studio incorporate Next Level's creative output in its architecture? I always imagine that Retro's new facility would have rooms furnished like Samus' gunship, and Donkey Kong's hut.
I’m sure with the help of the big N they could master water physics no problem. Or snow physics...
@beazlen1 One assumes that this corporate acquisition would eventually enable Next Level to produce more than one game per development cycle. Though I would prefer a new Wave Race game, perhaps all that Vancouver-Whistler snow fun will inspire someone in Next Level management.
@Ogbert I actually didn't expect a reply but downvotes xD
Anyway yeah I agree there was really a problem with network connectivity. I get some dropouts too here and there.
I think the main problem people had wasn't the game itself but the fact it was just a Metroid spinoff that clearly ticked off a lot of "fans". For me it was very fun and I kinda relate it to a FPS Monster Hunter in a way.
IMO the game is very underrated and very unappreciated. It had the potential for a very cool Metroid multiplayer experience like with Prime Hunters and that was pretty fun! I don't really question the "official" reviews but the bulk of the hate in my opinion from fans was unjustified.
And it was also a very sad year when the hate and bashing for the game was at it's peak and the late Satoru Iwata died the same year. The game wasn't event out yet.
If they ever re-release it on Switch I'd love to play it again too especially now we have Gyro and twin stick controls.
Nice, their Nintendo specific games have all been really good (Federation Force perhaps the exception but it really wasn't that bad).
I'd love to see a new Punch Out or perhaps they could be given something new to do
@COVIDberry Next Level already had an exclusivity deal with Nintendo so this doesn't really change all that much. If anything, it will probably mean more resources for Next Level. The stance toward MNA is different in Japan than it is in the US... and is more akin to a merger rather than an acquisition like in the US.
Is this a good acquisition? I mean Next Level doesn’t own any original IP. They are awesome at making Nintendo games but employees come and go. I guess that they have an established environment to make games.
Luigis mansion i one of the most beautifull games created on the nintendo switch. Its like watching an animated movie.
So yeah welldone bringing them in.
I just wish Nintendo would have done the same with Rare and AlphaDream.
That must be a heck of a compliment for the dev team at Next Level Games, definitely for their great job on Luigi's Mansion.
Yes! This was always bound to happen someday. Luigi's Mansion 3 and Mario Strikers Charged are two of my favorite games ever, may they keep making great games.
If I'm being honest, I did not do my research. I didn't realize that Next Level Games was a Canadian developer, not to mention it wasn't a Nintendo subsidiary yet.
Interesting development! Hoping to see them tackle some other frachises as well, and put as much love into them.
I know half of us hate WAH, but Strikers was THE moveset Waluigi should bring to Smash. Also, Luigi's Masion 3 looked astonishing. Honestly, Illumination will have to be on the ball to beat the animation, charm, and detail in LM3 when they make their Mario movie.
I'll be honest. I've never understood why Next Level games is so liked by the Nintendo fanbase.
Mario Striker and it's sequel are both just decent with almost no content at all. Also the worst Mario Sports games (besides Tennis Ultra Smash).
Metroid Prime Federation Force is mediocre at best (and I'm not even a Metroid purist so it's not like I hate it because it's different, my favorite is Other M).
Luigi's Mansion 2 it's a total disgrace, for my taste at least. I think it's one of the worst games Nintendo has ever published.
And Luigi's Mansion 3, while it's a great improvement over the second one, I still think that it's a really forgettable experience.
@GoldenSunRM I kind of agree with you there. Luigi's Mansion 3 is the biggest selling western game Nintendo's published since Goldeneye though so I can see why Nintendo wanted to secure them.
So uhhh...any updates on alphadream and if Nintendo ever bought them?
I take it this was more a formality and a bit of security for Next Level Games going forward. There are alot "better" acquisitions Nintendo could have actually made recently.
This is a great move, Luigi’s Mansion 3 really solidified just how great this studio is. The animations were almost Pixar level. Federation Force was more a PR disaster than anything else, so it’s hard to blame them when Nintendo kinda boxed them into a corner with a bad idea.
🥱... would be nice to see a new IP made by them given full control.
At long last! Great team up, hopefully we get a new Mario Strikers game soon👌🏽
Strikers was my favourite mario sports game. And I wouldn't mind multiplayer metroid on my switch.
This is great news! I’ve always wanted them to buy NLG. They need more western developers. I wish they would buy Platnium Games and Playtonic also!
I know Playtonic and Nintendo can come together and make that 90’s magic again. I would love to see what they could do with a Donkey Kong game again.
I wish Nintendo would buy a few more studios.
@beazlen1 Exactly what came to my mind when I played Luigi's Mansion 3. The physics really impressed me especially the sand. All I kept thinking was if they applied that technique to a new 1080 game it would be unbelievable. Even a new Wave Race.
You’re all fired
Good to hear. Now if only Sega would sell Nintendo the Bayonetta IP so it can be an official Nintendo franchise.
Great news, Luigis Mansion 3 is as good as any of Nintendo's own game this generation (if a little padded) and surpasses most of them visually. A very talented studio
An HD re-release of the Wii Punchout!! with some new fighters could probably be done in short order and absolutely should be.
@MarioBrickLayer Nintendo should probably take advantage of some of their own underutilized IPs before they acquire a huge developer like that - I think it'd be perfect for them to purchase Level-5 and maybe WayForward, though, as both are commonly associated with Nintendo and have things holding them back (poor management and possible lack of future Western releases for the former, having to put out bad licensed games to fund good original ones for the latter)
@PBandSmelly What cmc news?
With Xbox, Tencent, THQ Nordic, Sumo etc... buying up studios, this was an essential purchase to ensure the talent doesn’t end up in the hands of someone else
@PikaPhantom WayForward would make sense, but Nintendo doesn't have a close enough relationship with them. PlatinumGames they do, but the company is moving toward independence so that's unlikely. If anything, I see them finally acquiring Camelot next. We shall see though.
@COVIDberry I'd like to point out that historically Nintendo's buy-outs and bailouts (Retro, HAL, MonolithSoft have actually improved creator independence. HAL has been steady ever since, doing whatever they want with Kirby (and Smash for a bit), MonolithSoft has had the Xeno series that failed to succeed twice before finally become a hit, and Retro went from a no-name studio to well beloved (even if they haven't produced anything in awhile).
Nintendo seems to be very hands-off on their purchases, and it's worked out for them so far.
@link3710 Nintendo gutted Retro at the beginning
Another vote for Mario Strikers; the Wii entry is one of my favourites from that generation.
Now if only Nintendo would bought Grasshopper Studio, Platinum Games, Kojima Production, Shin'en, and Sega that would be fantastic.
@MrGawain exactly what I am thinking. As mentioned above, I hope Nintendo can get Sega and a few others.
Mario strikers has been rumoured for a while now, although I would love to see Mario Golf at some point, and surely Camelot must be working on some thing after Mario Tennis Aces.
Good news i think. Ever since the dissolution of AlphaDream, their name always come to mind when i think of a new studio to continue the Mario & Luigi series.
@johnvboy YES!!!!! I totally want another Mario Golf.
One of my top Nintendo franchises.
@Dringo technically no. All the gutting at Retro occurred before the buy-out happened.
...and quite frankly, Retro was a disaster prior to Nintendo stepping in according to basically all involved.
@link3710 Nintendo was the main shareholder of Retro. They canned the projects.
The rest of what you said is correct, mind
Awesome! What if they took a crack at reviving M& L (if Nintendo owns that subseries)? And I can’t wait to see their next Mansion!
@Dringo the projects were canned due to being trash, they spread themselves too thin and without proper leadership doomed to fail, Nintendo was impressed with one of their engines however, which they in turn trusted them with the Metroid IP and cancelled the rest so they could have better focus.
But yes, Retro was a hot mess before the buyout.
I figured something like this was going to eventually happen.
@Arkay I wasn’t saying Nintendo made bad decisions with Retro. Just that they didn’t leave them to it
@Zyph yeah it suffered a lot from people being upset it wasn’t what they were expecting. I doubt they’ll revisit it though which is a real shame.
Hopefully this means an HD port of Wii's Punchout. Also, that the next Luigi's Mansion game gets more play testing before release, I found so many frustrating parts in both 2 and 3 that ruined my experience with it, so much so that I'll probably skip the next if the trend continues. I don't understand how anyone could play that game and not be annoyed at chasing the darn cat or most of the bosses.
Wow, this is a unexpected, but great surprise!
This because, Nintendo very, very, veerryyyy rarely buy any developer studio and, well, really this was interesting.
Ok, we will see that new projects will have with this move.
Seriously, it's about time. They should have bought them after they delivered a perfect reboot with PUNCH OUT on Wii.
Great news, I've been thinking since last year that Nintendo should lock this company up before MS or one of the other tech giants (not Sony, I think there's other companies it'd have an interest in first, like Bluepoint) swooped in and bought it up. There's been some misses but the Mario Strikers games, Punch-Out!! on Wii and Luigi's Mansion 3 are awesome. Next Level has shown it can do well with Nintendo IP so I look forward to what's next. Maybe Wave Race?
This makes as much sense as when Sony bought insomniac, in other words a great purchase.
A few more like this for Nintendo would be amazing...
This is awesome news! Excited for them!
Great for the company and Nintendo overall. Now if they could toss Level 5 some money that would take the cake.
They've been doing games more consistently than Retro Studios. Looking forward to what they come out next!
This looks to be Nintendo's first developer aquisition since they purchased Monolith Soft back in 2007.
It’s a great move, it will move Next Level away from the licensed games that have hurt their credibility.
Cool, maybe they can resurrect this game exclusive to a Nintendo console now, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=56ePxA5B3Jg&t=36s
That is good news. Could never get into the Luigi's Mansion games but I did love the Punch out game they made on the Wii so I hope the can make another game.
Platinum would be the big prize. It has made some of my favorite games on Nintendo consoles in MadWorld, Bayonetta 1 and 2 and Bayo 3 I'm sure will be one of the Switch's best. Not sure how plausible Nintendo buying that studio would be, though. There are two Japanese companies I can think of that would fit like a glove and seem very realistic if the bosses wanted to make the move... Grasshopper and Mistwalker.
Feels like a long time since Nintendo bought a studio.
Maybe Microsoft or ea were hovering and they were like “nope! Not letting you have it!”
FEDERATION FORCE 2, BABY!!!!!
As a developer (web, not game), if I worked there I'm not sure how excited I would be to read "facilitate an anticipated improvement in development speed and quality".
EA is going to offer more and take Next Level Games from Nintendo.
I doubt this will hugely impact Nintendo's software output in the short term, but if Nintendo increases NLG's development personnel like they have with Monolith Soft, then we could definitely see more frequent NLG releases in the long term.
The talk about Luigis Mansion just makes me want a remake on the switch.
Wonder what studios Nintendo will buy next?
If I had to chose one it would be platinum games but platinum says that it would want to be independent
So nice to see Federation Force mentioned, even if it's fairly losely tied to the actual article 🙃
@PBandSmelly Dumb question, but what is CMC and what news are you referring to?
I don’t really need another Punch-Out. A Wii port with some added content would be nice.
Well...let's just say CmC has been called out by several of his friends for...using his fame to manipulate and take advantage of 3 underaged girls
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