Nintendo delivered a surprise in its latest installment of the streaming-video series Nintendo Direct: Namco Bandai is primarily responsible for the development of the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros., and the development team consists primarily of veterans of the Tekken fighting-game franchise.
Nintendo’s Masahiro Sakurai, who was the lead producer for the previous Smash Bros. games, holds the reins on this production. “The prototype prepared by Namco Bandai Studios’ special team looks pretty good, and it’s working great,” Sakurai says in a statement on Nintendo.com. He stresses that the game is only just now entering development, so fans are going to have to be patient.
The referenced “special team” from Namco Bandai consists of Masaya Kobayashi (Ridge Racer), Yoshito Higuchi (Soul Calibur), and Tetsuya Akatsuka (Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs). The biggest chunk of Namco Bandai staffers responsible for the beloved franchise, however, is the main team from the Tekken series.
“All the top creators from Namco Bandai are gathered here to create a never-before-seen dream team for this project,” Kobayashi says in a Nintendo.com statement. “We will fully utilize our experience and knowledge in action/fighting game development, technical capability, and organizational strength, and we hereby promise you that we will develop the best and most powerful Super Smash Bros. title ever!”
This isn’t the first time Nintendo has teamed with Namco Bandai to bring back a classic franchise. In 2005, the companies released Star Fox Assault for the GameCube to a lukewarm reception.