Tekken Producer On Why Nintendo Chose Namco Bandai For Super Smash Bros.

By Spencer . August 24, 2012 . 6:41pm


Nintendo selected Namco Bandai as the developer of the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Super Smash Bros. title. That coveted contract could have gone to a number of different publishers, so why did Namco Bandai get it?


“I think Nintendo chose us just because Smash Brothers is a fighting game. We have over 17 years of continuously developing titles in our franchise [Tekken], I think they felt we were a choice for that,” answered Katsuhiro Harada, Tekken series producer.


“Also, we’ve continually developed a very good relationship with Nintendo,” Harada continued. “Maybe not necessarily in the public spotlight but kind of behind the scenes. We have established a very good working relationship with them. Not just Nintendo, but as a company, we have a very good relationship with Sakurai-san at Sora as well. I think that we are in very good position to make a great game for the Smash Brothers series.”


Earlier this year Namco Bandai released Tekken 3D: Prime Edition for the Nintendo 3DS and have a Wii U version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 with Nintendo gimmicks like the Mega Mushroom.

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  • s07195

    Anyways, I hope they capture the ‘essence’ of Smash Bros. which to me is the party game-like feel where you can just have 3 friends over and play a game which everyone has fun with.

  • Hopefully someone lets Namco know that Tekken and SSB are two completely type of fighting games >.>

    • Grenalie

      Sakurai is still in charge and has said the gameplay won’t be changing that much so don’t expect it to play like Tekken.

  • Barrylocke89

    I haven’t paid too much attention to the SSB fandom lately, but I can personally say that I’m really interested in how this SSB turns out. For better or for worse, I’m sure it’s gonna be fairly different from the last few romps.

  • Michael Cadogan

    As long as this queues in a Tales of cameo from one of the Nintendo owned properties I’m totally down for it.

    •  I agree, Repede or Meiu as SSBB Wii U playable characters!

    • keithmaxx

       I’m all for it, but I won’t count on that. Sakurai mentioned that he’s giving priority to Nintendo characters and I’m guessing only a select few 3rd-party ones might make it to the final lineup.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    What if they chose Capcom?  *insert joke here*  I kinda hope they add a tekken style fighting mode. Like in special Brawl/Melee had stamina

    • Now that you mentioned it, Home Run Contest was really Tekken-ish. I think Yoshi was the Master of Air Juggling… That’s it!

      Yoshi vs Gon: The Epic Battle among Dinosaurs!

  • Xapth

    I love the original Smash Brothers formula but I’m truly looking forward to seeing which direction Namco Bandai takes the series. After Brawl, I feel like the series really needs something new to keep it feeling fresh. Perhaps they can give it that.

  • WingsOfEternity

    Wait does this mean there might be Namco Bandai characters?
    Get these guys in

  • SetzerGabbiani

    If what Harada says is true.  I want the Xenosaga trilogy migrated over to Wii U with some upgrades.

    • Anesia Hunter

      Hmm… I thought ports of the xenosaga series to 3ds would have been better, since a good number of people already have 3dses and a port of tales of the abyss was already done so we know it wouldn’t take them as much time and money as it probably would to do a remake or remaster.

      • Curan_Altea

        I know that they did a remake for DS, but it was never localized.

        • Only the first two games, IIRC. And it was done in 2D.

  • Spirit Macardi

    As long as this Namco partnership pays off with a playable appearance from a certain floppy-eared dream traveler, I’m fine with it.

    • CirnoLakes

      Oh my God YES.

  • KingGunblader

    I’m hoping the Tekken team seriously takes character balance into consideration when developing this. I feel like that’s the natural next step for series.

    I’m also seriously hoping for a Tales cameo. If not, then how ’bout Sophitia from Soul Calibur? Seeing as she’s not part of that series anymore…

    • LittleMofreaky

      “I’m hoping the Tekken team seriously takes character balance into consideration…”

      Oh my god. It’s a friggin’ party game. WHO CARES?

      • Colonel Custard

         Somewhere out there, in the nexus of the internet someone cares and for some reason there will be always, someone that cares.

      • Asura

         I have to agree at this point.

        If you want a competitive Smash there’s Project M if Melee no longer cuts it.

      • Rohan Viajar

         if you mean Brawl then yeah.
        but melee was very competitive.

        a lot of people would disagree with your statement

      • Grenalie

        Melee and 64 could be played at very high levels and it was an experience you couldn’t get elsewhere, they kind of screwed it up with Brawl though so thank god for Project M.

        You view it as a party game but I think it is what you make of it, which is why they give you the option to toggle items on or off and flat stages with little obstacles. I can play with items on and random stages with my family but items off and on conservative levels with competitive friends.

      • sd28

        but i read this in the opening 

        Nintendo chose us just because Smash Brothers is a fighting game. 

        • LittleMofreaky

          go to evo and never return

          • Rohan Viajar

             umm… melee was on evo back on 2007 >_>..
            and if you think evo is the only tournament worth caring about in terms of deciding if a game should or should not be “cared” about.

            then.. I feel sorry for you man.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Please leave the angry one line replies elsewhere.

          • LittleMofreaky

            My cousin’s friend’s Uncle Mitch works for Nintendo and he’s gonna- he’s gonna ban you from Endtendo Network.

          • @LittleMofreaky:disqus
            We don’t care. Not about your cousin’s friend’s uncle; not about the unproven claim about working for Nintendo; not about “Endtendo Network”; and last but not least, the childish, ineffectual threat.

            That is all.

      • KingGunblader

        I recognize that it’s a party game. But why spend the money hiring a professional fighting game developer if you aren’t going to use their expertise? I’m not saying I won’t play the game if they don’t make it in to a hardcore fighter. It would be an interesting change, THAT’S ALL.

        • LittleMofreaky

          They hired them for two reasons:
          1. WAAAAAAAAY faster development than Sora (they want it out in 2013)
          2. they’re HD veterans they can trust to do a good job

        • $30632660

          @EDGEucator:disqus Whatever floats your boat buddy, keep telling yourself that if it helps make you feel better.

      • James Beatty

        It’s a fighting game. Just because it’s more fun to play with other people in parties then SF or Tekken doesn’t mean that it’s any less of a fighting game. The object of the game is to fight other opponents=fighting game. 

        • $30632660

          So I guess the main Pokemon games are fighting games too because the object of the game is to fight other opponents, amirite?

          • SLick123456789111

            By your logic , every game in some form or fashion that has confrontation is a fighter. So I don’t understand where your coming from honestly , but SSB is noted to be the most enjoyable fighting series on the market today.
            Keywords : Enjoyable , Fighting , Series.
            I’m honestly beginning to wonder if some of these other fighting (series) fans are jealous of the spot that SSB holds over their favorite fighter. That’s (to me at least) how these types of remarks are starting to come off as. Because they sure aren’t educated opinions on the SSB franchise.

          • $30632660

            Noted by who exactly? Because it’s been regarded as a party game for a long time.

            The goal of the game is to be the King of the Hill by knocking all the other opponents off the platform.

            Last time I checked, a King of the Hill style game has never been a fighting game.

          • SLick123456789111

            Noted by critics & majority rule. People other than the (Self Proclaimed) Fighting Game Community.
            If you were to sit 20 open minded gamers down , have them play all the top fighters in the last 15 years & ask them the question : “Which fighter did you enjoy most ?” 14-16 would more than likely say Smash Brothers. It’s how the game is made , that even when you lose , you still walk away from the game with a smile knowing you had a fun time. That’s more than I and alot of other people can say for (& these are just examples) Street Fighter or Arcana Heart.
            Also , a party game is exactly that : Mario Party 1 -9 , Pac-Man Party , etc. A game which is based around multi-player mini games.

          • $30632660

            Majority rules my bumper.The only people that call the Smash Series a fighting game are those tourney wannabes who only play on Final Destination stage, turn off items, ban certain characters and play Melee over brawl.

            And by your logic, like i said, all the main pokemon games would be considered fighting games.

          • SLick123456789111

            That’s the indirect point I was trying to imply , your stuck in this FGC mentality where you think everything they dictate goes.
            I’m sorry , but it doesn’t.
            As for the bumper remark , hey , thats why I just tell it like it is , keep my replies brief & not get into multi paragraph explanations anymore. Ignoramuses don’t want to hear logical reason & educate themselves by applying others experiences to their own.
            Smash Brothers is a fighting title.
            Not going to argue with you if you don’t want to hear the truth.

          • Playable Characters, Versus other players, a set of skills, and a win condition. And perhaps some combos.

            SSB is a fighting game. Even Anarchy Reigns is being called one. It’s just that neither of them are FG’s in the traditional sense.

  • LittleMofreaky

    I trust them with this and Sakurai is still directing it so this should be another great game.

  • SLick123456789111

    Wonder when they are going to open up the new SSB website.
    Hope it’s updated like how Dojo was. Made the wait very easy.

  • “Maybe not necessarily in the public spotlight but kind of behind the scenes. We have established a very good working relationship with them.

    Yeah, this isn’t very surprising, considering who Monolith Soft belonged to a few years ago and who they belong to now. 

    A lot of these behind-the-scenes  “good relationships” exist without the public ever having any knowledge of them. For example, I recall Nintendo saying that they were always on good terms with Monolith Soft’s president after they acquired them. Makes you wonder what other collaborations they’ll lead to in the future.

    • OMG! It all make sense now! Kirby is the true boss of Nintendo, and all he cares about is “absorbing” any and all companies possible! Who knew THE Doombringer was so pink and adorable!

      • ForteWily

        As funny as that is, that is not completely untrue. At the moment Satoru Iwata leads Nintendo… he was with HAL labs before that as president, HAL was known for it’s association with the Kirby brand.
        Sakurai… which will go unsaid.

        • Yeah, I know. Its part of the joke!

  • MrRobbyM

    I have faith in Bamco. I’m sure they’ll pull through and make an amazing Smash Bros. game worthy of the name.

    • Kris

      I’m… hoping that they do. While I’m typically not a fan of Namco-Bandai’s fighters, if Ninja Theory can make fun Devil May Cry combat, Namco-Bandai can do a good Smash Bros!

  • because Namco is known for not localizing their games.

    • Neophoton

       I had a good laugh with this one, just because of how true it is. ;_;

    • This is a Nintendo franchise game though, and they’re just hiring the workforce and experience from Bandai Namco, so I doubt it’ll end up staying only in Japan.

  • WyattEpp

    Please, Namco, no more Fox clones!

    In all seriousness, I’d really like to see some sort of middle ground on items so all the “hardcore” people don’t feel the need to turn them off entirely.

    • Any Tales fighter will be a replacement for Fox.

      NO ITEMS



        • He’ll be so cheap. xD

          And I’m sticking to the English one.


          • *character eats food drop*
            *heals 10% damage*
            *Barbatos teleports behind character*

            *character recieves 999999999999% damage*
            *character loses 10 lives if fighting with Stock match rules*

            Ohohohoh! Just imagine people fighting him on Easy Mode! Also, Norio Wakamoto is the only TRUE Barbatos Goetia.

  • OatMatadoQuatro

    Look out it’s Gigantchi Mishima!

  • ZEROthefirst


    • That was Home Run Contest in a nutshell since Melee.

      • ZEROthefirst

        But now you can do it to characters if you start up the right combos lol

        • Fox could Air Juggle since N64 game. So could Yoshi, although a bit clumsier. Anyone can juggle in Smash Brothers before Tekken touched this series!

  • I just hope it’s not strictly Tekken and Soul Calibur characters alongside the Nintendo crew. Also, bring back Mewtwo. Seriously! He had the coolest throws!

  • MrJechgo

    Lloyd Irving for the guest character this time around, please!

    B: Demon Fang
    forward+B: Beast
    up+B: Tempest, press B again for Rising Falcon
    down+B: Guardian

    Rapidly press A: Sword Rain
    Smash F+A: Sonic Thrust
    Smash Up+A: Tiger Blade
    Smash Down+A: Demonic Circle

    Final Smash: Mystic Arte – Falcon’s Crest or Divine Justice

    Sounds accurate enough. Anyway, I just hope that Namco rectifies a few balancing issues we had in Brawl.

    • Andrew Oh
    •  See this is where you messed up son. Every move should just be Demon Fang.

    • ParaChomp

      We got Marth and Ike.

      “Then what about Kratos?”

      We got Ness and Lucas.

      If they’re from an RPG or fighter, I doubt they’ll join the fray, plus, first and second party characters have priority.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    I don’t get it….how exactly does Namdai’s work on Tekken make them a good choice for Super Smash Brothers? 3D fighting games are quite different, so experience with making those isn’t going to matter all that much while making a 2D brawler.

    Capcom or SNK would have been a more appropriate choice.

    • AuraGuyChris

      Capcom = PAID DLC
      SNK = Cheap Bosses

      This is a joke, of course.

    • There’s probably much more to it than Harada’s letting on (or knows). Like you said, I very much doubt it was as simple as Nintendo looking at Tekken and going, “Hey, we need those guys!” Or even Soulcalibur for that matter. And this game even has Tales staff working on it. 

      So yeah, there’s probably a lot more to this, including which company had the available manpower, strong enough relationship with Nintendo and Sakurai, and was willing to take on the project for a decent price.

    • SLick123456789111

      10 years ago maybe TP , but it’s a different time now.
      Just look at both Capcom’s & SNK’s situations they’ve had to deal with this gen & you’d see why Namco was one of the few choices Nintendo had.
      Not to take anything away from Namco , because they make quality games in a timely fashion & have a history with helping out in Nintendo Projects. Which could be other reasons as to why they were chosen.
      Plus , like Harada said , “We’ve continually developed a very good relationship with Nintendo.” Maybe these other 2 companies didn’t tickle Nintendo’s fancy on that front. (or morally . . .)
      I guess in a nutshell , it all boils down to trust.

    • ParaChomp

      Actually, the 3D fighting could aid in the timing and hit-boxes of attacks.  Though we see a 2D fighter (sort of) maybe it could be a 3D fighter in its mechanics.  Characters launch attacks on a 3D plain and the power and attributes of that attack depend on the speed and timing on the 3D plain.  It could add a whole new element but we’ll see what happens.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        Except Sakurai already said that the gameplay won’t be changed, so that’s quite unlikely.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Kite and blackrose… :3

  • why do I fear the air juggling nonsense will become a thing in the next game?

    • Really now. Like if it was any different without Tekken’s staff. The famous way of winning in this game is making enemies blast off again and again into the starry skies. Also, three words: Home Run Contest.

  • idrawrobots

    Please don’t include any character that has never been on a Nintendo system. I’m thinking Klonoa or Pacman.

    • But PacMan was on the NES

      • neofuji

        and Klonoa was on the GBA. Twice. And the Wii, too.

        • And the Tales series started on the SNES.

          • ParaChomp

             We got the Mother characters for that.  If you’re going to mention a Namco Bandai character, scroll though the Brawl cast and consider if there’s a character similar to that.

          • What are you talking about?

        • Spirit Macardi

          Actually Klonoa was on the GBA three times. Just the third game never saw an English release because of Namco being Namco.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I think Namdai was the right choice. Under Sakurai’s guidance, I don’t know any more capable of finding that lovely balance that Melee had between party game and competitive fighter.

    Hell, even if they aren’t looking to bring back some of that Melee feel, I’d like to see what Namdai brings to the table. They have the manpower and Sakurai is in control, but there’s sure to be a few new ideas proposed by Namdai’s staff. It’s especially exciting knowing that a bit of everyone from Tekken to Tales staffers are involved.

    I don’t really care to see anybody from Namdai make it into SSB though. ‘Cept Kite. Kite would be awesome.

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