During the Nintendo Direct Broadcast, it was revealed that Nintendo’s highly-anticipated Smash Bros. games (on the 3DS and Wii U) would be developed by Masahiro Sakurai’s company Sora, and co-developed by software giant Namco Bandai. Okay, yes, I can hear your sense of shock - a Smash Bros. game being developed by development subsidiaries not affiliated with Nintendo, it seems outrageous - but it’s actually a very wise decision on Nintendo’s part. The Smash Bros. games, as you know, are incredibly ambitious projects, and to outsource modules of development to other companies will naturally increase staff, resources and decrease development time.
It’s also worth noting that Super Smash Bros. Brawl had been treated similarly in its development cycle, with an ad hoc development team consisting of members from Monolith Soft, Game Arts and Paon, as well as Sora.
So no need to worry about Namco Bandai joining in on the development - if we see third-party characters like, oh, I don’t know, Pac-Man (we might even get ourselves some Tales Of cameos), then the partnership may be all worth it.
Update: It appears IGN was incorrect about Yoshito Higuchi taking Sakurai’s role as director of the project, and in fact, Masahiro Sakurai is still in charge of our favourite series. Sorry for the misleading information, folks. Namco Bandai’s Kenya Kobayashi will be producing the titles, however.
Stay tuned for more Smash Bros. news.
Source: Nintendo Direct Conference