In a recent Iwata Asks interview with the development team behind Wii Party, it is revealed that Nd Cube, a subsidiary originally founded in the year 2000 as a joint venture with advertising firm Dentsu, has been entirely absorbed by Nintendo and is now a wholly-owned division of the company.
Nd Cube’s story is a strange one. At the time the company was established, it was tasked with the development of Game Boy Advance and Gamecube games. F-Zero: Maximum Velocity for the GBA and Tube Slider for the Gamecube are two of their better-known titles. After developing a series of low-profile products, Nd Cube went silent and weren’t heard from again for quite a while.
As of August 2010, Nintendo own a 96% majority stake in Nd Cube.
Additionally, the interview reveals that several key members of the Mario Party development team at Hudson are now employed by Nd Cube, and were involved with the development of Wii Party. Hudson, too, have a history with Nintendo.
In 1998, Nintendo co-established a venture with Hudson, with the aim of co-developing Nintendo 64 and Game Boy products. Titled Monegi, this collaboration led to the development of the numerous Mario Party games. Following the development of Mario Party 8, several Monegi staff members including leads parted ways with the company and went on to work on the game we now know as Wii Party.
We’re not certain what this means for the future of the Mario Party franchise, given that the core development team appears to treat Wii Party as a spiritual successor to the series.