The long time Nintendo partner joins the family.
In a statement released from Nintendo HQ, the Japanese gaming giant has announced that Vancouver-based Next Level Games will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo as of March 1st, 2021. The announcement outlines that several owners-directors and employees of Next Level Games decided to sell their shares. Nintendo pounced at the opportunity to officially bring the long time partner in house. “Completion of the acquisition will serve to secure the availability of NLG 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 explained.
You may recognize Next Level Games as most recently working on Luigi’s Mansion 3 which was very well received for the Switch late in 2019. NLG is also known for their 3DS work with games like Metroid: Federation Force and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Previously NLG had worked on Super Mario Strikers back in for the GameCube and Mario Strikers Charged for the Wii.
No indication was given by Nintendo that they would continue placing Next Level Games on the Luigi’s Mansion or Mario Strikers franchise. Based on the above quote from Nintendo, one could assume that NLG will simply be folded into internal studios which would work on any number of projects. Time will tell how they use the talented development studio, but it’s certainly a good gain for Nintendo and a move that they’ve apparently been waiting for the right opportunity to make.