In a turn-up for the books, Nintendo has enlisted key Namco Bandai personnel to help design the next Super Smash Bros title, including Soul Calibur's art director and the main Tekken development team.
Masahiro Sakurai, the designer behind Kid Icarus, Kirby and the Super Smash Bros series, explained the move in special statement made after last night's Nintendo Direct broadcast. Apparently he's sick and tired of keeping the project under wraps, and has revealed that there will be both a Wii U and 3DS version.
"It's my personal belief that the only time a creative product really resonates is in that first moment when it's actually in front of you," Sakurai said in a message to fans. With that said, I've realised that if we keep the new Super Smash Bros. title's development structure secret, it'll only create more and more speculation, and I won't be able to develop the game with any freedom. That's why I've decided to announce this news right now, even though it's still very early on.
"The project has just gotten started. Bear in mind that not only are we developing two titles simultaneously, but we announced the project before we even started actual development, so I'm afraid we will likely have to keep you waiting for quite a while. Please be patient."
"Currently, the prototype prepared by Namco Bandai Games and Namco Bandai Studio's special team looks pretty good, and it's working great. In order to take advantage of the fact that there will be versions for two different systems, and to maximise and offer fun new gameplay elements, the entire team is going to work hard together. Thank you."
Sakurai will direct an all-star Namco Bandai team comprising Yoshito Higuchi, producer of the Tales series, Gundam director Tetsuya Akatsuka, Soul Calibur's art director and the entire Tekken staff. It's unlikely we'll see anything concrete for some time, considering that the project appears to be in very early development, but we can fully expect great things from Sakurai. Here's hoping that the veteran Ninty man can keep his dream team under control.