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Nintendo to acquire Next Level Games, developer of Luigi’s Mansion 3

Nintendo splashes some coin on Next Level Games, the Canadian developer of the splendid Luigi’s Mansion 3.

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Luigi's Mansion 3 Next Level Games
Nintendo / Next Level Games

Nintendo splashes some coin on Next Level Games, the Canadian developer of the splendid Luigi’s Mansion 3.

Platform holders buying third-party studios – effectively making them first-party studios – has been big news recently. We’ve seen Sony purchase Insomniac Games, developer of the PlayStation-exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man games, and we’ve seen Microsoft purchase… well, pretty much everyone else for Xbox Game Studios. Even Bethesda wasn’t safe from Phil Spencer’s spending spree.

Nintendo has been more reticent to take these steps in recent years. You might have expected the venerable publisher and platform holder to bring someone like Pokémon developer Game Freak into its stable under exclusive terms.

But it is Next Level Games, the Vancouver-based developer of Luigi’s Mansion 3, that has attracted Nintendo’s eye.

In a posting on Nintendo’s Japanse site, notice of the acquisition – which is expected to take place on March 1, 2021 – explains that “more recently, NLG has worked exclusively with Nintendo in developing software titles for the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch systems, including titles in the critically acclaimed Luigi’s Mansion series of video games.”

Will it materially change anything? Probably not. Per the notice, the acquisition will “serve to secure the availability of NLG development resources for Nintendo” but, given that Next Level Games hasn’t developed a game for a non-Nintendo platform since 2011, it will probably be business as usual.

For Nintendo’s part, the notice says that the acquisition will have “only minor effects on Nintendo’s results for this fiscal year.”


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.