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August 8, 2011 / Ryan Robba

5 Studios Nintendo Should Buy

For many years Nintendo were considered to be the unquestionable king when it came to quality first-party developers, with games like Zelda and Metroid being unmatched by competing first-party games. However, over the last few years, Sony’s first-party team has improved and increased in terms of quality and in terms of the quantity of studios. Developers like Naughty Dog and the newly acquired Sucker Punch have managed to deliver unique and critically-acclaimed games arguably as good as anything Nintendo or Microsoft have managed to produce. However, Nintendo’s large heaps of money, obtained by the immense success of the Wii and DS, should be put to good use. Here are a list of 5 developers we think Nintendo should buy…

1. Next Level Games










Next Level Games Inc. is an independent video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Founded in October 2002, Next Level Games specializes in creating console video games. Its first project was NHL Hitz Pro, which was published by Midway Games. Since then, it has worked with Nintendo to produce the Mario Strikers series and Punch-Out!! for the Wii console. During a developer roundtable event at E3 2011, Shigeru Miyamoto announced Next level Games as the developer of Luigi’s Mansion 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. From this list, it is clear that Nintendo are keen on the standard of development quality at NLG, as they have passed several of their games down to NLG for development. This company shows versatility in that it has developed games crossing multiple genres (Sports, fighting, etc.) and has worked on multiple platforms of different horsepowers and feature-sets (3DS, Wii, PS3, etc.).

2. Monster Games







Monster Games, Inc. is another independent video game development studio – but this one specializes in racing games. The studio has handled such games as the Exitebike series, a well-received franchise on Nintendo’s Wii platform. They were also asked by Nintendo to develop Pilot Wings Resort, one of the best 3D-showcases of the Nintendo 3DS. The company has been making games exclusive to Nintendo’s platforms for the last 5 years, and it would be a shame to see that tradition slip away.

3. Grasshopper Manufacture


















Grasshopper Manufacture are a fairly large developer – with over 130 employees. It’s this size that makes it attractive to begin with. The large amount of talented developers in the team means Nintendo could hand it huge projects and know they would be capable of producing results. The company could also bring something to Nintendo that has been missing from Nintendo’s first-party for a very long time – mature games. Mature games aren’t everyone’s piece of cake, but there is a big potential audience who feel let down by Nintendo’s lack of gory M-rated games. Grasshopper Manufacture have experiences in this field with such games as No More Heroes 1 & 2 and Killer 7.

4. Level-5







Level-5 is another large development group – with over 200 employees. Once again, they have great potential to manage huge projects, or several smaller ones. The developer behind such series as the critically acclaimed and best-selling Professor Layton games, have unique franchises in their chest. They are experienced in original art-styles and puzzle games – something Nintendo love, as can be seen with most of their key franchises such as The Legend of Zelda.  Level-5 also specialize in role-playing games, an area Nintendo could use some help with. With the exception of the Xenoblade series brought by Nintendo’s Monolith Software, and the Pokemon series, Nintendo have never really been a company that is experienced in the RPG field.  Level 5 could change that, with franchises such as Inazuma.

5. Rare







I know what you are all thinking – Rare are owned by Microsoft, blah blah blah. However, Rare’s highlights were undoubtedly during their time with Nintendo. Their partnership with Nintendo brought extremely high-rated and influential games to the market – such as GoldenEye 007. Rare have produced several million-sellers as well as several 90+ rated games, however they seem to have lost their way a bit now that they are a subsidiary of Microsoft. When you look at the franchises they have developed – such as Donkey Kong Country – it is clear that they can make Nintendo-style games, and they can make them well. Couple that with the fact that they created Bajo-Kazooie, a Nintendo-esque franchise, and that their lead designer is a former Sonic developer, another Nintendo-esque franchise, Rare only seems like a natural fit for Nintendo, and a tempting offer to Microsoft may bring what was one of the best developers of all time back on track under Nintendo’s rule.

Honorary Mention










We would like to mention HVS (High Voltage Software as an honorary mention). They are a small developer who have never really managed hugely successful games, however they are keen on working in the FPS genre, a genre Nintendo lacks games in (other than arguably Metroid).  They are filled with passion and care about the gamers. They could really benefit from a helping hand from Nintendo. Finally, they are loyal to Nintendo, making the Conduit, Conduit 2 and Conduit 3D exclusively for Nintendo systems, and giving Nintendo’s platform the best version of The Grinder.


One Comment

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  1. Tyler / May 8 2013 21:54

    So basically you think they should buy companies that also mostly make games for other consoles?

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