Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon Studio To Remain A Nintendo Exclusive Developer

By Ishaan . January 9, 2014 . 4:31pm

Next Level Games, the studio behind games such as Punch-Out!! on Wii, Spider-Man: Friend or Foe and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, plan to remain a Nintendo-exclusive developer, co-founder Jason Carr revealed in an interview with Gamasutra.


“We are doing only Nintendo products now,” Carr said to Gamasutra, adding later on in the interview that Next Level see no need to look to other publishers.


“We have worked with a lot of other companies before, and we’re super happy with our relationship with Nintendo,” Carr shared. “There’s no reason to look anywhere else. They keep giving us better and better IP to work with, and as long as we do our job and make good games for them there’s no reason for us to venture out.”


He elaborated: “Because we’re still a small shop. We’re under 70 people. We like that size. For us, we’re like, why would you want to go and talk with these other guys? What’s it doing for your business? The guys in the company are just really, really proud of the company and proud of the games they work on.”


In another part of the interview, Carr and Luigi’s Mansion producer Ken Yeeloy say that working with Nintendo affords Next Level the luxury of time to develop a polished game.


Says Yeeloy: “When we work with them, it is strictly about the game, throughout the entire process. Obviously, on the production side, we have to talk about that. But the focus is driven by the quality of the game, and what is cool, and what feels good—not how much money it’s going to cost or how long is it going to take.”


Nintendo have not yet announced if Next Level are working on another title for them at the moment.

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  • Kaetsu

    This news is awesome. I loved the two Mario Strikers games and Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon was in my top 3 favourite games of 2013. Now the company no longer has to produce shovel ware like “Captain America” and can now focus on quality Nintendo games. Hopefully the’ll get working on a Wii U game.

    • Kaetsu

      The dislike bot strikes again!

      • Namuro

        Oh, Morpheus, save us!!

  • It’s great to hear they’re getting the support they deserve. And they really have made some fantastic games for Nintendo. I look forward to whatever they come out with next.

    • TheGameTagerZ

      Woah your dislike’s are going up by the second…what is this?!!!

      • Ethan_Twain

        Just a malcontent with a Disqus bot. Nothing to see here – don’t worry about it.

  • hazelnut1112

    This is awesome news on both parts. Glad to hear that Nintendo doesn’t rush things and lets them work on the game as long as it’s polished. Then again, I heard a lot of developers say this when working on Nintendo only games. Only exception to the rule is Team Ninja with Other M.

    • Grape Monet

      To be fair, if they had worked with anyone else at Nintendo, they probably would’ve been better off. They got a raw deal, working under Sakamoto.

    • Ethan_Twain

      And for what it’s worth, even that game had plenty of time in production and a last minute delay.

  • AuraGuyChris

    Congrats to Next Level Games.

    Now Nintendo is one step closer to world domination. You’re next, XSeed.

    • Grape Monet

      Wait, so is Nintendo going to take over XSeed, or is XSeed next in line for taking over the world?

      • XypherCode

        How about Ninty taking over Sega so that they can take Atlus as well under their wing? *wishful thinking* xD

        • Kaetsu

          I dream about that all the time :P

          • AuraGuyChris

            Sure you do, Jack Frost.

            (Holy hell, bots. Don’t downvote me to hell.)

          • hazelnut1112

            You’re not alone buddy.
            What the hell is up with that?

    • Daniel Jeanbaptiste

      not gonna happen

  • Grape Monet

    Glad to hear they’re doing well for themselves. Hopefully they can expand and hone their skills as developers even further.

  • XypherCode

    If they’re happy with their position then good for them. :)

    Btw the downvotes in this article’s disqus comments are insane! Pretty nasty bug.

    • Ethan_Twain

      Not a bug, just someone having fun with their Disqus bot. Don’t worry about it – it’s all the malcontents are left to do once they get banned.

      • XypherCode

        Oh ok. Seeing the comments downvoted every second is kinda amusing though. XD

        • Nice Boat Quatro

          They are downvoting them! And then they are going to downvote me! OH MY GOOOOODDDDD!!!!

          • Namuro

            Downvote day!


  • Ethan_Twain

    I don’t think this is a huge surprise to anyone – we know Nintendo is hard up for development resources and we know that everything Next Level makes with Nintendo has been good or great. This is exactly the sort of relationship Nintendo needs more of.

    Normally I would want to speculate at this point about which IP Next Level might be working on next but… I can’t really pin down a personality for Next Level. They did Mario Strikers, which was multiplayer focused and chaotic. They did Punch Out!!! which was a reverent remake of a classic and single player focused. They did Luigi’s Mansion which took them away from sports entirely and is kind of an adventure game. They do a good job with everything they do, but nothing springs to mind as particularly well or ill suited to the studio, you know? Anyone else seeing a common thread in their releases that I’m not?

    • Grape Monet

      Nope! And that’s the fun part: They can do anything. Nintendo could give them Clu Clu Land of all things and it would probably be at least half-way decent.

      • Ethan_Twain

        I will now be disappointed if Next Level is working on anything but Clu Clu Land

    • Göran Isacson

      What Monet said- I can’t pin these guys down except “being pretty darn good at what they do”, so I’m game with whatever they come up with. Maybe they’re gonna do a new Wario game? Been a while since the last one that wasn’t just a Warioware title, after all.

  • kylehyde

    This sounds to me that they have something under their sleeve and I can’t wait to see the next direct (the february direct usually have awesome stuffs)

    • Ethan_Twain

      On the other hand, Nintendo directs usually alternate between big and small. The one we just came off of had NES Remix, Dr. Luigi, and Zelda Mousou as brand new announcements. I feel like after that direct we’re about due for 20 minutes of Nintendo Network, Miiverse, and Streetpass.

  • Namuro

    That’s nice to hear!

    …I wish I could work for Nintendo…

  • MrJechgo

    A developper who actually WISHES to work with Nintendo?

    Did Hell freeze over or something? Because I almost always hear 3rd parties ditching the Wii U and 3DS.

    Platinum Games should follow too. Didn’t tehy say that they would love to become 2nd parties for the big N is a previous interview?

    • Herok♞

      Honestly I could see platinum going in that direction if Nintendo is willing to fund more of there games

    • Ethan_Twain

      It’s two different issues. Third parties releasing third party games on Nintendo hardware struggle and have struggled for over a decade now. The software that sells on Nintendo hardware is made by Nintendo.

      But for a third party to be releasing NINTENDO games on Nintendo hardware? That’s a very different situation. There are precious few developers that wouldn’t love to have that opportunity. You get to work on some of the most loved IP in all of video games, and Nintendo as a publisher is a GREAT publisher. They don’t change their games to match market trends and they are almost always willing to fund development for as long as it takes for the product to be ready to ship. They put quality first.

      Nintendo is a super conservative company and they only establish relationships like these with developers they trust. However, you never hear about developers moving away from Nintendo publishing because they would prefer to work under a different corporation. If you can get a Nintendo contract, that’s the best development situation you’re going to realistically get.

    • 3PointDecoupage

      I think that’s just because it’s more of a pain in the ass to include touch screen controls, motion controls, 3d effects, etc. into a game. Xbox and PS have used pretty much the same controller from day 1.

    • No, Platinum never said that. They simply said they’d like to continue working with Nintendo. No comments about becoming a second-party developer were made. Although I do hope Nintendo continues to fund at least one Platinum project at any given point in time. It would be nice for them to have a financially stable publishing partner.

    • landlock

      It’s a good move because anything they made outside of Nintendo has been terrible. So there better off staying with them.

  • Ispheria

    If Nintendo was giving me IP’s I’d work for them forever too lol

  • wahyudil

    its nintendo system (reading the book about nintento secret of scuccess) … 60% of the management are production people, not the money people, thats why its very happy (for creative people) to work with them … unlike my company who being hold 100% by money people, they can torture employee in the name of money …

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