Nintendo has made a new acquisition by purchasing Next Level Games, which had been mostly a Nintendo-exclusive company for close to a decade at this point. The studio is most recently known for its work on the Luigi’s Mansion franchise, having developed two out of three of the games in the series.
Between Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Luigi’s Mansion 3, Next Level Games also developed Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a multiplayer-centric entry in the shooter/adventure franchise that was widely panned at its reveal for not being the Metroid game a lot of people wanted. But the studio has also worked with Nintendo on a handful of other games, including soccer game Super Mario Strikers and its sequel Mario Strikers Charged back in the mid-2000s.
In Nintendo’s statement on the acquisition, the company explained that decision would “facilitate an anticipated improvement in development speed and quality by enabling closer communication and exchange of staff with the Nintendo development team.” The acquisition is expected to be finalized on March 1.
In other news:
- No, a Straight Judy Romance Wasn’t Cut From Cyberpunk 2077
- 2021 Has Already Peaked: Persona Soundtracks Are Coming to Spotify
- Modder Claims Breath of the Wild’s NPCs Are Created Using Advanced Miis
Outside of its Nintendo collaborations, Next Level Games worked with several partners for licensed games, such as Marvel for Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and Captain America: Super Soldier, which was based on the first Captain America movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The studio also developed a Transformers game for the Wii called Transformers: Cybertron Adventures and a Ghost Recon game for the Wii. The first game put out by the developer was a hockey game called NHL Hitz Pro in 2002, but the studio hasn’t gone back to the sports genre since.
Next Level Games joins the likes of Intelligent Systems, HAL Laboratory, and Sora Ltd. as studios owned by Nintendo. Given the company’s history, it’s anyone’s guess as to what it will be developing under Nintendo’s umbrella. It could be more Luigi’s Mansion, or a new entry in a different Nintendo franchise, but there’s also the chance the acquisition will give it more freedom to develop a new, original IP.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 was pretty impressive when it launched back in 2019, and even went into some wild allegorical places along the way. But one of the standouts to come from it was Gooigi, a gooey clone of Luigi that had an expanded role in the third game after its introduction in the 3DS remake of the original. The character reached a kind of meme status within Nintendo’s fandom and, for some reason, people wanted to eat him.