Nintendo announced on Tuesday plans to acquire Next Level Games. The Vancouver-based studio first formed in 2002 and has released many exclusives for Nintendo over the years. These include 2019’s Luigi’s Mansion 3, 2009’s Punch-Out!!, and the Mario Strikers series. Now, the team will be an in-house developer. The acquisition should close on March 1, 2021, as long as the deal meets all terms and conditions. You can read the full statement here, but the reasoning behind the purchase is pretty straightforward:
Next Level Games’ shares are currently held entirely by its owner-directors and employees. A number of owner-directors recently determined that the time is right for them to sell their shares, and Next Level Games therefore began exploring potential sales transactions. Completion of the acquisition will serve to secure the availability of Next Level Games development resources for Nintendo , including development expertise, as well as facilitate an anticipated improvement in development speed and quality by enabling closer communication and exchange of staff with the Nintendo development team.”
Nintendo and Next Level Games’ Successful Relationship
When this deal goes through, Nintendo will gain 100% of the outstanding shares of the studio. While the acquisition statement gives no price details, the purchase seems to be in the best interest of everyone. Luigi’s Mansion 3 was a highly successful collaboration. It holds an 86 on Metacritic and, as of November, reached 7.83 million sales worldwide. Next Level Games also developed the previous entry in the series, 2013’s Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon on the 3DS. Perhaps this deal will lead to a fourth entry and a shorter amount of time between games than 6 years.
Generally speaking, Next Level Games’ work with Nintendo characters has usually fared better than its other games, which include 2010’s Transformers: Cybertron Adventures and 2011’s Captain America: Super Soldier. The team’s Punch-Out!! revival on the Wii received positive reviews and likely led to Little Mac becoming a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series. The Mario Strikers games are fondly remembered sports spin-offs. However, the team also released the divisive Metroid Prime: Federation Force on the 3DS.
How do you feel about Nintendo acquiring this long-time development partner? Let us know in the comments!