So there's a new Super Smash Bros. game in development, and Namco Bandai is the game's lead developer. But, what does that mean? Listen to what Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai said about the upcoming game:
Currently, the prototype prepared by Namco Bandai Games and Namco Bandai Studios' special team looks pretty good, and it's working great. In order to take advantage of the fact that there will be versions for two different systems, and to maximize and offer fun new gameplay elements, the entire team is going to work hard together.
So, from the sound of it, Namco Bandai isn't only doing the heavy lifting, it's doing all the lifting. Sakurai, of course, is helming the project, but make no mistake, Namco Bandai is developing it.
Namco's Masaya Kobayashi chimed in on who from Namco is working on the title:
In order to make Mr. Sakurai proud, we will take on this project with Namco Bandai's best staff! Yoshito Higuchi, the producer and the director of the Tales series, Tetsuya Akatsuka, producer and director of Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs., the art director/sound director of the SoulCalibur series, the main development team staff from the Tekken series…and that's just for starters. All the top creators from Namco Bandai are gathered here to create a never-before-seen dream team for this project. 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! Don't miss it!
Last year at the E3 gaming expo, Nintendo revealed that the new Smash Bros. was headed to the Wii U and the 3DS.
At that point, work had not apparently started on either title. "Honestly, at this point, we shouldn't be announcing these games to the general public, but since we need to assemble developers for the games, we made them public," then said Sakurai.
Nintendo owns the majority stake in Sakurai's studio, Sora. The studio has even been working on a new game that isn't a Smash Bros. title, but back in 2009, the studio's site said, "It's a secret! It's totally a secret!!" That game was probably Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Sora seems to be a smallish studio, so making two Smash Bros. (one for 3DS, one for Wii U) might be beyond its manpower. Namco has extensive experience making fighting games, so it can pool its developers to hit the ground running and churn out Smash Bros. titles in (hopefully) a timely fashion. Now, whether that means Namco should be making the new Smash Bros., that's another matter...