Next Level Games was founded in 2002 and has worked almost exclusively for Nintendo platforms, making the Mario Strikers series, the Punch-Out!! update for Wii, and Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Their most recent title was last year’s Luigi’s Mansion 3 for Switch.
Beyond Nintendo properties, the studio has also worked with Marvel and Transformer properties, including 2007’s Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, and adapted the board game Ticket To Ride to Xbox 360.
According to the press release, Nintendo is acquiring Next Level Games’ “development resources” to “facilitate an anticipated improvement in development speed and quality by enabling closer communication and exchange of staff with the Nintendo development team.”
If the past is any indication, this news should bode well for fans of the studio’s contributions to the Big N’s franchises. Nintendo last purchased a studio in 2007, when they acquired Monolith Soft, Inc. from Bandai Namco, and the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise blossomed from their partnership.. Retro Studios was similarly picked up in 2004, after a few years of developing exclusively for GameCube, and led to the Metroid Prime series and modern Donkey Kong Country titles.
The deal is expected to be finalized March 1, following shareholder approval and other formalities.