The latest Iwata Asks interview from Nintendo has yielded an interesting tidbit of information regarding one of the publisher’s upcoming games. Wii Sports Club, Nintendo’s development staff reveal, was developed by Namco Bandai Games under Nintendo’s supervision.
As previously revealed, Wii Sports Club is an updated re-release of the five original Wii Sports games for the Nintendo eShop on Wii U. Each of the five games—Tennis, Bowling, Golf, Boxing and Baseball—have been updated with HD remastered graphics, improved motion controls, and an online multiplayer mode where applicable.
While this reveal might be surprising, in a way, it makes sense, given that Nintendo and Namco have shared a close relationship in recent years. Wii Sports Club is simply the latest in a number of collaborations between the two companies, and it isn’t even the most prominent. That honour goes to the new Super Smash Bros., which is being developed by Namco Bandai as well.
Another prominent sign of the relationship the two companies share is that Monolith Soft, Nintendo’s RPG powerhouse, used to be owned by Namco, who sold the studio to Nintendo in 2007. Even more interesting, however, is the fact that even under Nintendo’s wing, Monolith continue to develop smaller games that are published by Namco, such as Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans, Project X Zone and others.
Tekken series producer Katsuhiro Harada acknowledges the relationship, too. In an interview with Siliconera, Harada once said, “We’ve continually developed a very good relationship with Nintendo. 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 [Smash Bros. director] Sakurai-san at Sora as well.”