While it may seem like a safe assumption to believe that Nintendo is developing the new Super Smash Bros. titles for the Wii U and 3DS internally, it turns out that the company has tapped Namco Bandai Games to handle the heavy lifting. Game Informer has the news that while the studio famous for Pac-Man and Katamari Damacy is developing the new mascot brawler, the main brain behind the series, Masahiro Sakurai, is still calling the shots.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced Namco Bandai Games is leading development on the Super Smash Bros. title for Wii U and 3DS. Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of the Super Smash Bros series, is heading the project from his Sora Ltd. studio. Masaya Kobayashi (Ridge Racer) and Yoshito Higuchi (Tales series) from Namco Bandai will oversee the game as well.
With Namco Bandai handling development and considering how third-party characters have been welcome to the series since the Wii's Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I'm calling it right now: Pac-Man and The Prince of All Cosmos will be in the next Smash Bros. in some capacity. It makes too much sense to not happen. I have no problem with Namco Bandai driving the game forward, and I trust Nintendo's guiding hand to keep any potential trouble spots in line. Like any other highly anticipated game, however, some are not happy about the way that development is shaping up despite the fact that we do not know how the game looks at this point. One disgruntled person even went so far to complain to Sakurai directly via Twitter to which the developer replied with a shutdown so succinct that it led to the complainer deleting his Twitter account. Said Sakurai, "Knock off looking down on them with narrow-minded thinking." Well said, sir. Smash Bros. is too impotant a franchise to risk on a studio that can't handle it, and if Sakurai and Nintendo believe that Namco Bandai is up to the job, then I'm not going to second guess that without ample evidence to the contrary.