The future of Nintendo: what’s to come after Spring 2016 (6)

In this series of articles I look at what Nintendo will most likely deliver after Spring 2016. Of course I do not have a crystal ball, so what I will be presenting here are just some educated guesses about what Nintendo’s (affiliated) studios are most likely to be working on right now.

Next up: the last few internal Nintendo developers (SDD and NST) and affiliates (1-UP Studio, Genius Sonority and HAL Laboratory).


SDD

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
SDD Streetpass Mii Plaza

Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (NA)

March 2011

April 2014

Jam with the Band series

Brain Training series

AR Games

(?)Dr. Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training: Can You Stay Focused?

StreetPass Mii Plaza

What are they working on?

Nintendo SDD has worked mostly on games in the Brain Training series and Jam with the Band series. While there have been multiple Brain Training games that were released in the West, the Jam with the Band games mostly stay in Japan.

The AR games and Streetpass Mii Plaza games developed by SDD were pre-installed on or pre-packaged with the original 3DS system. None of the three games SDD produced for Nintendo 3DS afterwards have made it to Europe. Brain Age: Concentration Training (which in Europe will be called Dr Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training: Can You Stay Focused? if it ever releases) and Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball have been released in the U.S. though.

 

Nintendo SDD is momentarily probably working on pre-installed software for Nintendo’s newest handheld console, which may or may not be a new Streetpass Mii Plaza.

What does this mean for WiiU?

SDD focuses on games for Nintendo handheld consoles. They will not produce anything for Nintendo WiiU.

NST

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
NST Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars March 2015 Mario vs. Donkey Kong series

Crosswords series

Metroid Prime Hunters

1080° Avalanche

Wave Race: Blue Storm

(?) New Crosswords

Cross buy

What are they working on?

Since the internal problems surrounding the development of Project H.A.M.M.E.R. for Nintendo Wii and its cancelation, Nintendo NST has been demoted to a small developer that focusses on smaller puzzle games, including the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. Their latest game (Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars) came out for both Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo WiiU.

Because the development team over at NST is rather small, and they have promised to share two new levels per week for 50 weeks with owners of Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, chances are that they still have their hands full with that.

Though one may hope that Nintendo NST gets another shot at making a game in the Wave Race or 1080° series, chances are that it will not happen in the WiiU’s lifespan. A new game in the Crosswords series may still come to WiiU in the meantime. Maybe.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars will most likely be Nintendo NST’s one and only outing on Nintendo WiiU. A new game in the Crosswords series may still come to WiiU though, but it is not very likely.

1-UP STUDIO

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
1-UP Studio Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker January 2015 Magical Vacation/Starsign

Mother 3

Super Mario 3D series

Mana series

Blue Dragon series

London Life (Professor Layton)

(?) Mother 3

Captain Toad

What are they working on?

1-UP Studio was previously known as Brownie Brown. The name change went together with their new function within Nintendo. They now provide development assistance to other studios, with a focus lately on the Mario 3D series (including Captain Toad). 1-UP Studio will most likely provide the same assistance during the development of the new 3D Mario.

Before it became 1-UP, Brownie Brown was known for its work on some major RPG series (Magical, Mana, Blue Dragon). One of the most illustrious games they probably worked on is Mother 3. Although the game was not released in Europe and the U.S. when it was originally released on Gameboy Advance, chances are that the title may still come to the WiiU Virtual console. Summer 2016 seems to be plausible. Not only has Nintendo been releasing a ton of GBA games on the WiiU virtual console lately. They have also released Mother 1 and 2 for the very first time in Europe through the Virtual Console, meaning that the games were not only ported, but also translated (in the case of Mother 1) for the very first time.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Since 1-UP is mostly an assisting studio, it all depends on which studio they will be assisting in the near future. If they will provide assistance on the next 3D Mario, chances are that we will not see their work again on WiiU. There is, however, a chance that we will still see one of their older games appear on the WiiU Virtual console, namely: Mother 3.

GENIUS SONORITY

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Genius Sonority Pokémon Shuffle February 2015 Pokémon Colosseum series

Pokémon Link! series

The Denpa Men series

Pokemon Battle Revolution

Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure

(?)The Denpa Men RPG FREE!

Pokémon Shuffle

What are they working on?

Genius Sonority has made the only Pokémon RPGs for home consoles in existence. Both games were released for Nintendo GameCube. After their work on Pokémon Battle Revolution for Nintendo Wii, they started working on smaller titles. With 21 employees it is unlikely that they will be making the next big home console Pokémon RPG.

Genius Sonority is experimenting with free to play games for Nintendo 3DS at the moment. Their fourth Denpa Men title (The Denpa Men RPG FREE!) has not yet been released in the West. It may still come. Other than that, they are most likely working on another (small) Pokémon spin-off for mobile phones and/or Nintendo 3DS.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Genius Sonority will not release a game for Nintendo WiiU.

HAL LABORATORY

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
HAL Laboratory Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush May 2015 Kirby series

Super Smash Bros series

Mother/Earthbound series

Adventures of Lolo series

Pokémon Stadium series

Pokémon Snap

Face Raiders

Box Boy!

(?) new Kirby

Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush

What are they working on?

HAL Laboratory is one of Nintendo’s biggest studios. They are best known for creating Kirby and (co-)developing every title in the series. Work on the next Kirby title must have already started. This title may still make it to WiiU, but it may as well release on Nintendo 3DS or on a next generation Nintendo console.

HAL Laboratory has worked on the main Pokémon games for N64 before Genius Sonority took over for GameCube and Wii. Currently, however, no internal Nintendo team is assigned to making Pokémon fighting games for Nintendo WiiU – Pokkén Tournament is being developed by Bandai Namco for Arcades and may come to WiiU in 2016.

The last game in the Mother series (Mother 3) wasn’t developed by HAL Laboratory, though they did help on the game. A new game in the series is unlikely to be released because Shigesato Itoi has said that he will not be involved in a fourth title.

Since Masahiro Sakurai left HAL Laboratory and created his own company (Sora Ltd.), HAL Laboratory hasn’t been responsible for the Super Smash Bros series. They did, however, provide development assistance on the latest Super Smash Bros game for Nintendo WiiU and will provide help on the next installments as well (if the series doesn’t actually return to the studio when Sakurai decides to stop working on Smash Bros).

Although HAL Laboratory only recently released two games (Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush and Box Boy!) chances are that we will see something big from them before the next generation of Nintendo consoles arrives. They are far too big a studio to have only one big Nintendo franchise (Kirby) in active development. So unless they are developing all the DLC for Super Smash Bros, keep your eyes open for a new challenger!

What does this mean for WiiU?

HAL Laboratory is too big to only release one small Kirby game on WiiU and play an assisting role in the development of Super Smash Bros for WiiU. Something’s cooking over at HAL, and it may not just be a pink fluff ball!

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The future of Nintendo: what’s to come after Spring 2016 (5)

In this series of articles I look at what Nintendo will most likely deliver after Spring 2016. Of course I do not have a crystal ball, so what I will be presenting here are just some educated guesses about what Nintendo’s (affiliated) studios are most likely to be working on right now.

Next up: the Japanese third party studios in charge of Nintendo franchises that are coordinated by SPD 4.

ALPHADREAM

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
AlphaDream Mario & Luigi: Dream Team July 2013 Mario & Luigi series

Hamtaro series

Mario & Luigi: Paper jam

Mario & Luigi

What are they working on?

AlphaDream are currently working on Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam for Nintendo 3DS. It is probably the only game they are developing at the moment. Paper Jam has been in development since the release of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team on Nintendo 3DS and reuses assets from that game. The game is a crossover game with the Paper Mario series. As such it also reuses assets from Paper Mario: Sticker Star for Nintendo 3DS.

No Hamtaro games have been released since the anime’s twelfth and final season aired in 2006. Chances of AlphaDream working on a new game in the series are therefore very slim.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

AlphaDream has only developed games for Nintendo handhelds. It is unlikely that they are developing a game for Nintendo WiiU.

CAMELOT

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Camelot Mario Golf: World Tour May 2014 Mario Tennis series

Mario Golf series

Golden Sun series

Mario Tennis: Ultimate Smash

Mario Golf World Tour

What are they working on?

Camelot is currently working on Mario Tennis: Ultimate Smash for Nintendo WiiU. It should release before the end of this year.

Because Camelot isn’t the largest studio (there were 42 people working there in 2010) it may well be that this is the only title they are currently working on. A new Mario Golf game for WiiU may still happen, but it is not likely to release before 2017. Also because in 2016 we will already get another Mario sports game from Sega. As such it will most likely be an NX game.

The Golden Sun series, which for now has only seen releases on Nintendo handhelds, seems to be dormant. I would expect to see a new game in the series after the new Mario Golf game at the earliest.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Mario Tennis: Ultimate Smash will release before the end of the year. It is unlikely that we’ll be seeing another Camelot game on WiiU after that. A new Mario Golf game may still come to the system, but for that to happen, WiiU should still be relevant in 2017.

EIGHTING

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Eighting Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate March 2013 Kururin series

Dragon Quest spin-offs

Castlevania Judgment

Kamen Rider series

(?) Monster Hunter X Ultimate

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

What are they working on?

Eighting is mostly known for developing fighting games (Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Castlevania Judgment). They have also developed the Kururin games for Nintendo and have worked for Capcom on Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for Nintendo 3DS and WiiU and on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for Nintendo 3DS. They work on the Kamen Rider series for Bandai Namco, which mostly remain exclusive for the Japanese market. A few games in the series have been released for Nintendo Wii, and the latest game was released on WiiU (as well as on Playstation 3).

Eighting is currently working on four (or more) smartphone games. One game is a cross between Tertris and a monster RPG. One game is based on the Kamen Rider franchise and one on the Assassination Classroom manga. These games will probably not make it to Nintendo platforms, nor will they likely be released in the West.

The last Kururin game was released exclusively in Japan for Nintendo Gamecube (2004). The series has been dormant ever since, and will probably remain so for a while longer.

Eighting may be working on new games in the Monster Hunter and Kamen Rider series. These games could (as they often do) come to Nintendo platforms. Whether they will come to the West as well is another thing entirely.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

A new Kamen Rider game may be in the works for Nintendo WiiU, but that game will not likely be published outside of Japan. Other than that, I do not see any WiiU game from Eighting on the horizon. Unless that HD release of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on WiiU is still incoming.

INIS

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
iNiS Elite Beat Agents July 2007 Elite Beat series (?) Elite Beat Agents 2

Elite Beat Agents

What are they working on?

iNiS has developed three games for Nintendo 3DS in the Elite Beat series. Only one of those games (Elite Beat Agents) has made it to the West. If we will ever see another of their games come West it would be something like Elite Beat Agents 2, and it would still have to be released on Nintendo 3DS (or on a future touchscreen handheld Nintendo console).

iNiS is currently focused on developing games for smartphones. In the past they have also worked on the Gitaroo Man games (for PlayStation) and the Lips series for (Xbox).

What does this mean for WiiU?

No iNiS games will be released for the WiiU, unless Elite Beat Agents comes to the Virtual Console.

ND CUBE

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Nd Cube Mario Party 10 March 2015 Mario Party series

Wii Party series

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity

(?) Mario Party 11

Mario Party 10

What are they working on?

Nd Cube took over the Mario Party series after Hudson Soft became part of Konami. They also develop the Wii Party series.

Having already developed two party games (Wii Party U and Mario Party 10) for WiiU, it is unlikely that we will see another party game from Nd Cube on the system. Mario Party 11 will probably be released on Nintendo NX, but given the series track record,  it may still appear on WiiU.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Nd Cube is probably working on Mario Party 11 at the moment. It may not come to WiiU anymore, but it may as well.

PAON

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Paon AquaSpace July 2010 DK series

Donkey Kong Jet Race

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

Nothing

 AquaSpace

What are they working on?

Although Paon was given the Donkey Kong franchise to work with during the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS era, they have not made any games for Nintendo systems during the current generation. Their last effort for Nintendo systems were three English course games for Nintendo DS which were released in 2012. Their last boxed release game was a Japan exclusive pachinko simulator game for PayStation 3 in 2013.

Paon currently focusses on developing mobile games and pachinko slot machines.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Paon will not release a game on Nintendo WiiU.

Rest in peace Satoru Iwata

It’s a bit of a shame to only start talking about people who inspire you and have had such an influence on your life when they have already passed away, but I guess that’s just the way things go. The saying, you don’t really know what you have, until it is gone, really holds up I suppose.

Earlier this year my favorite author died, sir Terry Pratchett.

Saturday my favorite CEO died, mister Satoru Iwata of Nintendo.

It’s weird right? To talk about your favorite CEO? Oftentimes we talk about our favorite author, our favorite musician, our favorite actor, but not about our favorite CEO. Of course, this has to do with the fact that CEOs tend to be less visible to the general public than authors, musicians, etcetera.

Not mister Iwata. Every few months for the last few years he appeared in an online video in which Nintendo announced what we, the fans, the gamers, may expect from them in the coming days, weeks, months and years. This he did with a touch of humor. His stock phrase “directly to you” – accompanied by his typical hand gesture – has become a recurring theme in Nintendo Directs (what the videos are called) and a fan favorite.

Iwata direct

Iwata also appeared in the interviews he took with developers that created games for Nintendo platforms and which appeared on Nintendo’s website (i.e. the Iwata Asks Series) and he often gave interviews himself to game media. But of course, Satoru Iwata was not only my favorite CEO because he was visible. No, there’s many other reasons why he deserves that title.

For one, he taught me that CEOs do not have to be money grubbing a*****. They choose to be money grubbing a*****. Mr. Iwata never chose to be such a CEO. When Nintendo suffered its first loss since 1981 in 2012, he did not decide to restructure the company (which generally means “fire a lot of people”), no, he took a substantial pay cut, and humbly declared that the fault was his and that he would make things better. Which he did. The company today is as profitable as ever. If things went wrong, it was him who carried the weight. When costs needed to be cut, he looked at himself first (and the other high rank workers in the company) and not at the people who work for him on the floor.

Nintendo Co President Iwata bows during their strategy and earnings briefings in Tokyo

Also, Satoru Iwata was a CEO who knew the ins and outs of what his company was selling. He worked “on the floor” himself. He started out as a game developer, a programmer, at HAL Laboratory (a Nintendo subsidiary). He knew what it meant to create videogames. He knew what he was asking his people to do. He was also a very good programmer. He saved the cult classic Earthbound, which would never have released if it wasn’t for him reworking all of the code. He gave us Balloon Fight and helped on many, many Kirby games.

Maybe the best way to describe Satoru Iwata as a CEO and as a person would be to let him speak for himself:

On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.

Rest in peace Mister Iwata, and know that you have taught me that a company can have a heart when the heart of its president is big enough for two.

The future of Nintendo: what’s to come after Spring 2016 (4)

E3 has come and gone and all the big players have made some exciting new announcements about their upcoming and future games. Unlike, for instance, Sony, Nintendo decided to focus on games they will be releasing in the coming year instead of in the coming years. For some (including myself) their digital E3 event was a bit underwhelming. Mostly because we already knew about most of their games that will release before the Spring of 2016. Especially when looking at WiiU.

In this series of articles I will look at what Nintendo will most likely deliver after Spring 2016. Of course I do not have a crystal ball, so what I will be presenting here are just some educated guesses about what Nintendo’s (affiliated) studios are most likely to be working on right now.

Next up: the Western third party studios in charge of Nintendo franchises that are coordinated by SPD 3


CURVE DIGITAL

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Curve Digital Ultratron May 2015 Fluidity series

Stealth Inc. series

The Swapper

Lone Survivor

Thomas was alone

Titan Attacks

Action Henk

Ultratron

What are they working on?

Curve Digital is known for developing, porting and publishing digital titles. They work on the Fluidity series for Nintendo and develop the Stealth Inc. series, of which the latest title Stealth Inc. 2: A game of clones, came to WiiU before it was ported to other consoles. They also ported Lone Survivor, Thomas was Alone, The Swapper, Titan Attacks, Ultratron and OlliOlli to the current generation of Nintendo consoles.

While a new Fluidity title may be in the works for Nintendo WiiU, it has already been confirmed that they will still be porting Action Henk to Nintendo WiiU. The title will still release this year. Most likely Curve Digital will add other indie titles to their portfolio in the coming months, which may end up on WiiU (and 3DS) as well. A good contender is OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Curve Digital has been very generous in releasing digital titles for Nintendo’s home console. Action Henk and Ultratron will be the sixth and seventh title they release on WiiU. More will definitely follow, with OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood being a very good contender.

KUJU ENTERTAINMENT

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Kuju Entertainment Art Academy: Atelier July 2015 Art Academy series

Battalion Wars series

Zumba series

(?) New Zumba game

Art Academy Atelier

What are they working on?

Kuju Entertainment has two studios working for it, namely Headstrong Games and Zoë Mode.

Headstrong Games just released Art Academy Atelier (Home Studio in the U.S.) for Nintendo WiiU. They have developed every Art Academy title so far. It is, however, unlikely that we will see another Art Academy game for current generation Nintendo consoles. Work on a new Art Academy for the next Nintendo console may have started.

Headstrong Games also developed both Battalion Wars games in the past. It is not unlikely that they would be asked to develop Battalion Wars 3, which may still come to WiiU. It is, however, possible that the franchise (together with the Advance Wars series) lies dormant for the moment.

Zoë Mode is best known for its work on the Zumba series which is published by Majesco Entertainment. The series had its most successful entries on Nintendo Wii. Zumba Fitness: World Party was released for WiiU December 2013. No titles in the Zumba series have been released since then. Zoë Mode has also worked on games with the Grease license (for Nintendo systems) and has developed SingStar and EyeToy games for Sony. It is uncertain what games they will still release on Nintendo consoles in the future. Maybe in 2016 we will see the return of the Zumba series of WiiU? Get your dance moves ready!

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Kuju Entertainment just released Art Academy Atelier on WiiU. Chances for another one of their games being published by Nintendo on WiiU are slim. In 2016 we may see another Zumba game on WiiU though, unless Majesco Entertainment doesn’t hold the license to that series anymore.

MONSTER GAMES

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Monster Games Xenoblade Chronicles 3D April 2015 Excite series

Donkey Kong Country series

NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona

(?) Diddy Kong Racing 2

Xenoblade 3D

What are they working on?

Monster Games’ specialty is racing games. They have worked on the NASCAR and Test Drive series in the past (mostly for non-Nintendo platforms), but have been working exclusively on Nintendo franchises ever since the release of Excite Truck for Nintendo Wii in 2006. They have made two other titles in the Excite series (Excitebots and an Excitebike remake) since the release of that game. The Excite series has been dormant for this generation of consoles and it is unlikely we will be seeing another game in the series anytime soon, unless a port (or remake) is in the works.

In 2013 Monster Games ported Donkey Kong Country Returns (a Wii game) to the Nintendo 3DS. They also assisted Retro Studio in the development of its sequel on WiiU, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Most likely they have been given the Donkey Kong Country IP to work with now, so that Retro Studios can focus working on another (or entirely new) Nintendo franchise. Because of their track record in the racing genre, the next Donkey Kong game may not be a Country game, but may be Diddy Kong Racing 2, which has been rumored to exist. They may be working on it by themselves or in cooperation with Retro Studios. The game could be a cross gen game for WiiU and NX.

The last game Monster Games released was Xenoblade Chronicles 3D for the New Nintendo 3DS. They may be releasing another port of a Wii game on (New) Nintendo 3DS in 2016 (or possibly in 2017). Maybe they will get to port one of their own franchises this time around: Excite Truck 3D? Let the race commence!

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Because they have  a WiiU development kit and have only assisted Retro Studios on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for WiiU, it would seem likely for Monster Games to still produce a game of their own for Nintendo WiiU. Diddy Kong Racing 2 seems possible, though the title will most likely be playable on NX as well, and may be a collaborative effort with Retro Studios.

NEXT LEVEL GAMES

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Next Level Games Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon March 2013 Punch-Out series

Mario Strikers series

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon

Transformer: Cybertron Adventures

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Luigi's Mansion 2

What are they working on?

Next Level Games is currently working on Metroid Prime: Federation Force for Nintendo 3DS. After the big success of Luigi’s Mansion 2 on 3DS it was expected that they would get to handle another big Nintendo franchise. Metroid is definitely big enough.

In 2014 Next Level Games announced that they will be working exclusively with Nintendo from now on. And who knows, if Federation Force turns out to be a better game than people are expecting it to be, maybe they’ll get a chance to develop the next big Metroid Prime game for NX?

Next Level Games is also known to have a development kit for WiiU in their offices. They have, however, not released a single game for the console yet. With a team of 70 people working for them, it is unlikely that the only game they were able to produce in a period of five years is a Nintendo 3DS game. We may thus still see a game from them on WiiU. Most likely a sports game. The next Punch-Out? Probably not. The next Mario Strikers? Far more likely. Super Mario Spikers? The pitch for that Nintendo Wii game was never greenlit in the first place and probably never will be.

What does this mean for WiiU?

A team of seventy people which has a Nintendo WiiU development kit and which only has released one (very successful Nintendo 3DS) game in the last five years? That must mean they have been working on something else as well. Perfect contender: Mario Strikers WiiU which will be released after Spring 2016, and even more likely: around Holiday 2016. As such it will not be released too close to Camelot’s Mario Tennis (Holiday 2015) and Sega’s Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Spring or Summer 2016).

N-SPACE

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
n-Space Skylanders: Swap Force October 2013 Geist

Heroes of Ruin

Skylanders 3DS series

Call of Duty DS series

007 series

(?) Sword Coast Legends

Skylanders SwapForce 3DS

What are they working on?

n-Space is mostly known for developing spin-off games of big name franchises for mobile platforms. They have made, among others, Nintendo (3)DS versions of entries in the Call of Duty, Skylanders and 007 series which are all published by Activision. They have not been making mobile versions of Activision franchises since the release of Skylanders: Swap Force in 2013.

They also developed the Nintendo Gamecube exclusive shooter Geist, which was published by Nintendo itself, and the Nintendo 3DS exclusive RPG Heroes of Ruin, which was published by Square-Enix. It is unlikely that they are working on sequels to these games.

n-Space is known to be working on a Dungeons and Dragons RPG, called Sword Coast Legends which will release on current gen home consoles and PC this September, though not on Nintendo WiiU. It is not likely to receive a port to WiiU, but since it is unlikely that they are producing anything else for WiiU at the moment, let’s just dream that they will eventually port this game to WiiU. Dream a little dream for me!

What does this mean for WiiU?

n-Space will not release any games on Nintendo WiiU.

RETRO STUDIOS

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Retro Studios Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze February 2014 Metroid Prime Series

Donkey Kong Country series

Maro Kart 7

(?)Diddy Kong Racing 2

 Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze

What are they working on?

Retro Studios is best known for its work on the Metroid Prime series and the Donkey Kong Country series. All of their games have been praised by critics. They finished working on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze somewhere in 2013. From the credits of that game, it became clear it was not the whole team at Retro Studios that did work on the game. Production of an entirely new WiiU game may thus be well underway. This game may be a third Donkey Kong Country game or it may be another Nintendo franchise (old or new) entirely. A follow-up to Donkey Kong 64 isn’t entirely out of the question either.

Also, because Retro Studios have assisted EAD 1 with the development of Mario Kart 7 (they developed the retro courses and provided the Donkey Kong character assets), it has been rumored that they have been working on Diddy Kong Racing 2. It is possible that they are co-developing this game with Monster Games, who also have experience in the racing genre, as well as with the Donkey Kong franchise. Diddy Kong Racing 2 will most likely be a cross generation game and will have a WiiU and an NX version.

What does this mean for WiiU?

We may still see one more Retro Studios game on Nintendo WiiU. This game will probably be cross gen and will most likely be centered around everybody’s favorite ape. Possible contenders: Donkey Kong Country Returns 3, New Donkey Kong 64, Diddy Kong Racing 2.

TT Fusion

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
TT Fusion LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin March 2015 LEGO City Undercover series

LEGO (3)DS series

(?) New LEGO 3DS game

LEGO Ninjago Shadow of Ronin

What are they working on?

TT Fusion is a subsidiary of TT Games, which itself is a subsidiary of Warner Bros.

TT Fusion has made two games in the LEGO City Undercover series which were published by Nintendo in 2013. One game for Nintendo 3DS, and one game for Nintendo WiiU. Because the original WiiU game was generally well received and because the engine is already there, it shouldn’t prove to be impossible for TT Fusion to make LEGO City Undercover 2 for Nintendo’s current generation of consoles. Spring 2016? Why not. TT Games has been pushing out LEGO games like crazy!

TT Fusion also develops most of the mobile versions of LEGO games (Nintendo (3)DS and Playstation Vita). Sometimes they get to create original games for these mobile platforms (e.g. LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin) and sometimes they develop the mobile spin-off of a home console LEGO game (e.g. The LEGO Movie Videogame). They will, most likely, produce another LEGO 3DS game before the handheld console’s successor shows up. Possible even 2… or make that 5!

What does this mean for WiiU?

TT Games will still release LEGO Marvel’s Avengers on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo WiiU and LEGO Dimensions on Nintendo WiiU this year. The next few LEGO games, whatever licenses they may use, will also appear on Nintendo WiiU. Whether TT Fusion will get to make another Lego City Undercover game for WiiU remains to be seen, but here’s hoping! One thing is for sure: there will never be a shortage of LEGO games on Nintendo platforms.

CONCLUSION

Nintendo’s (former) Western partners have mostly been focusing on developing Nintendo 3DS games. From Cruve Digital we can still expect to see some digital only releases on WiiU. From the other Westerns partners we should not expect too much. And if another game from these studios does come to WiiU it is most likely ape related.

The future of Nintendo: what’s to come after Spring 2016 (3)

E3 has come and gone and all the big players have made some exciting new announcements about their upcoming and future games. Unlike, for instance, Sony, Nintendo decided to focus on games they will be releasing in the coming year instead of in the coming years. For some (including myself) their digital E3 event was a bit underwhelming. Mostly because we already knew about most of their games that will release before the Spring of 2016. Especially when looking at WiiU.

In this series of articles I will look at what Nintendo will most likely deliver after Spring 2016. Of course I do not have a crystal ball, so what I will be presenting here are just some educated guesses about what Nintendo’s (affiliated) studios are most likely to be working on right now.

Next up: the rest of SPD 2’s Japanese third-party partners

MISTWALKER

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Mistwalker The Last Story February 2012 Blue Dragon Series (?) Terra Battle

The Last Story

What are they working on?

Mistwalker is Hironobu Sakaguchi’s company (the creator of final fantasy). Mistwalker also houses Nobuo Uematsu (the composer of most Final Fantasy games). Mistalker’s team is currently working on the mobile game Terra Battle. Because the game has already been downloaded more than two million times on mobile devices, Sakaguchi should honor is promise of bringing Terra Battle to current gen consoles. Whether WiiU will be one of those consoles, is hard to tell. Mistwalker’s last big production (before they switched to mobile) was for the Nintendo Wii, but I’m not sure if that would actually play a role in their decision to bring Terra Battle to WiiU or not. SPD 2 probably won’t have any involvement in the decision since Terra Battle is not a Nintendo franchise.

Although the studio is best known for some high profile RPG’s (including Blue Dragon and – a personal favorite – Lost Odyssey for the Xbox 360), chances that they will produce another high profile RPG by themselves are small. The studios that assisted Mistwalker (Artoon) or that were created to assist Mistwalker (feelplus Inc.) in producing these titles are now part of Marvelous AQL, who have their own franchises to worry about. A sequel to The Last Story seems very improbable at the moment.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Maybe Terra Battle will come to WiiU, but chances are slim. The Last Story 2? Don’t count on it.

MONOLITH SOFT

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Monolith Soft Project X Zone July 2013 Xeno(blade) series

Project X Zone series

Super Robot Taisen series

Baten Kaitos series

Disaster: Day of Crisis

Xenoblade Chronicles X

ProjectXZone

What are they working on?

Just like Intelligent Systems, they are not really a third party studio anymore (although they still make games that are published by Bandai Namco). Relations with Monolith Soft are still being handled by SPD 2 though.

Monolith Soft has finished it work of Xenoblade Chronicles X which will release in December for WiiU. It has already been released in Japan. Director Tetsuya Takahashi has already confirmed that they have started working on their next big RPG, which may or may not be another title in the Xenoblade Chronicles series, but which most likely will not appear on WiiU anymore.

Project X Zone 2 will be released early 2016, which they are co-developing with Banpresto (a subsidiary of Bandai Namco) and which will published by Bandai Namco on Nintendo 3DS.

Apart from working on their own franchises, Monolith Soft has a supportive role. For instance, they helped EAD 3 in the development of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and have mentioned wanting to work with EAD 3 again on the new Legend of Zelda for WiiU.

Although Monolith Soft has worked on several Super Robot Taisen games, chances are small that they are currently working on a new game in the series, which is published by Bandai Namco. Mostly because there’s already a game (Super Robot Wars BX for the Nintendo 3DS) that will be published by Bandai Namco this year in Japan, and I don’t think Monolith Soft is involved in its development.

What about Baten Kaitos? Around the launch of the 3DS there were rumors about a Baten Kaitos game being in development for the platform (titled Silence of the Mechanized Sun). Nothing has been heard of this game since 2011, so chances are that is has been cancelled – if it ever existed in the first place. Baten Kaitos on WiiU? Not going to happen.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Xenoblade Chronicles X will release in December (if it is not delayed). Monolith Soft may help EAD 3 on their new Legend of Zelda game, but that will be all we can expect from Monolith Soft for this generation of Nintendo home consoles.

PLATINUMGAMES

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
PlatinumGames Bayonetta 2 October 2014 Bayonetta series

The Wonderful 101

Star Fox Zero

Star Fox Zero

Bayonetta 2

What are they working on?

PlatinumGames has been releasing about two games per year the last few years, and have at least four development teams. One team is currently working on Star Fox Zero and Project Guard together with EAD 5. Platinum Games has taken over most of the development effort for these games.

PlatinumGames is also working on Scalebound for Xbox One (published by Microsoft), the newest NieR game for PlayStation 4 (published by Square Enix), and Transformers: Devastation  for every non-Nintendo platform out there (published by Activision). It is unlikely that they have the capacity to be working on another game for Nintendo at the moment, which means that: no, we won’t get to see Bayonetta 3 anytime soon, nor will be getting a Wonderful 102 – if anybody still expects to see a sequel to that game. A port of Transformes: Devastation? Maybe, but not likely.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Star Fox Zero and Project Guard are releasing later this year. Those will be the fourth and fifth PlatinumGames games on WiiU. Not a bad track record for a third party developer. Chance of another one of their games on WiiU? Zero. And I don’t mean Star Fox Zero.

RED ENTERTAINMENT

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Red Entertainment Fossil Fighters Frontier May 2015 Fossil Fighters series (?) New Fossil Fighters

Fossil Fighters Frontier

What are they working on?

Red Entertainment finished working on Fossil Fighters Frontier by the end of 2013 or at the beginning of 2014, when it was released for 3DS in Japan. Although the latest game in the series isn’t a big success, development on the next installment may be well underway. The new Fossil Fighters game will probably release on the next Nintendo handheld.

Red Entertainment has assisted Intelligent Systems in the development of Fire Emblem: Awakening, but they were not involved in the production of its sequel: Fire Emblem Fates. They are probably not involved in another Fire Emblem game at the moment.

Red Entertainment’s  other big franchise is Record of Agarest War which they co-develop with Idea Factory. The Record of Agarest War games have not yet made an appearance on Nintendo consoles, and for the time being, probably won’t.

What does this mean for WiiU?

No Red Entertainment games will be released on WiiU.. unless you would consider a possible Fossil Fighters Virtual Console release as a new release.

SYN SOPHIA

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Syn Sophia New Style Boutique

Style Boutique 3 (JP)

November 2012 Style Boutique series (?) Style Boutique 3

New Style Boutique

What are they working on?

Syn Sophia was formerly known as AKI Corporation, as which they were mostly known for creating fighting games (Ready 2 Rumble Revolution, Def Jam Vendetta and WCW/WWF games). After their name change they have only released two games in the West, and those are the two games in the Style Boutique (Style Savvy) series.

Style Boutique 3 was released in Japan this year. It will probably still be localized for the West and will most likely release after Spring 2016 for Nintendo 3DS. Work on Style Boutique 4 for the next generation of Nintendo handhelds may have already begun.

Syn Sophia also makes Japan exclusive mobile games.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Syn Sophia will not make a game for WiiU. The first Style Boutique may still come to the Virtual Console.

TOSE

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
TOSE Splatoon May 2015 The Legendary Starfy series

Super Princess Peach

Kid Icarus: Of myths and monsters

Resident Evil Revelations (HD)

Dragon Quest Monsters series

Final Fantasy GBA ports

(?)Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D

 Splatoon 4

What are they working on?

TOSE is mostly known for its close working relationships with Nintendo and Square Enix. They handle the Dragon Quest Monsters series. Although two (remade) games (Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D and Dragon Quest Monsters 2: Ira & Luca) in the series have already been released for Nintendo 3DS in Japan, none of the Dragon Quest Monsters 3DS games they have made, have come to the West so far. With the localization of Dragon Quest VII and VIII for 3DS having been (somewhat) confirmed, it is not entirely impossible that these games will still make it West though.

With regards to Nintendo’s own franchises, TOSE has assisted EAD 2 with the development of Splatoon. As such they have shown that they still have a good working relationship with Nintendo, even though they haven’t released a single game for a Nintendo platform published by Nintendo itself that was coordinated by SPD 2 on this generation of consoles.

TOSE also has a lot of experience creating platform games (Kid Icarus: Of myths and monsters, Super Princess Peach and The Legendary Starfy). Since Nintendo has not announced any platform game for WiiU coming in 2016, and I cannot fathom Nintendo NOT releasing a single platform game on WiiU that year (or any year), it may just be TOSE’s turn to show us what they have been working on ever since they have finished working on Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns (for non-Nintendo systems), Resident Evil Revelations HD (for different systems, among which WiiU) and Splatoon (a WiiU exclusive). Super Princess Peach WiiU? Who knows?

TOSE also makes the The Legendary Starfy games for Nintendo, of which four games have been released so far in Japan and only one in the West (in 2008). The series has been dormant for some time now, so maybe it would be opportune for a new game in the Starfy series? For 3DS? For WiiU?

TOSE developed both Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and Resident Evil Revelations for Nintendo 3DS. They also ported that last game to WiiU (as well as other systems). Could a port of Resident Evil Revelations 2, which they did not develop themselves, to WiiU still happen? Probably not, but one can hope.

What does this mean for WiiU?

TOSE may be working on a platform game for WiiU like Super Princess Peach WiiU or Starfy WiiU. They may also be working on a port of Resident Evil Revelations 2 for WiiU. But they may as well be working on nothing at all for Nintendo’s current home console. Time will tell.

TREASURE

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Treasure Sin & Punishment: Successor of the Skies

Gaist Crusher God (JP)

May 2010

September 2014 (JP)

Wario World

Ikaruga

Sin & Punishment series

Gaist Crusher series

Bleach series

(?) Gaist Crusher

Sin & Punishment Successor

What are they working on?

Treasure is mostly known for its shoot-em-up games, with Ikaruga and the original Sin & Punishment being cult classics. Treasure is most likely working on another game in the genre, though it is not certain whether that will be for a Nintendo platform. With them having published Ikaruga by themselves on Steam (which did pretty well there) they may just start publishing more of their games themselves. And even though they would be the go to developer for Nintendo to make a new Sin & Punishment game, most likely they’re letting the series have a little rest at the moment.

Treasure’s last two (new) games were published exclusively in Japan by Capcom for the Nintendo 3DS: Gaist Crusher, and its sequel:  Gaist Crusher God. It is unlikely that these games will come West, but apart from a possible new game in the Bleach series, it is unlikely we will see another game by them anytime soon on a Nintendo system.

Or can we expect to see Ikaruga HD on WiiU?

What does this mean for WiiU?

Treasure won’t be releasing a game on WiiU. The only possibility seems to be Ikaruga HD, but that is unlikely to happen.

VALHALLA GAME STUDIOS

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Valhalla Game Studios none none Devil’s Third Devil’s Third

Devil's Third

What are they working on?

Valhalla Game Studios has been working on Devil’s Third since 2010. It will release in August. No other games are in the works.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Devil’s Third will release on WiiU in August. That’s the only game we may expect from this studio for the console.

CONCLUSION FOR SPD 1 AND SPD 2:

SPD 1, SPD 2 and Japanese third parties supervised by SPD 2 are working on three of the most important WiiU releases still coming to the Nintendo WiiU this year, namely Devil’s Third, Star Fox Zero (including Project Guard) and Xenoblade Chronicles X. Also the only big title announced for WiiU (apart from Zelda) next year is being taken care of by SPD 2, Intelligent Systems and Atlus. Apart from those titles we can only guess whether these studios still have titles in the works for WiiU. Sadly, it may not be much from looking at it. (i) PlatinumGames and Intelligent Systems are very busy with their other projects for the moment. (ii) Monolith has started working on its next big RPG, which we won’t see within the next 2 years. (iii) Many of Nintendo’s known previous partners have shifted their focus from home console development to mobile development (Arika, Mistwalker and Syn Sophia for instance), (iv) while others have worked on less popular/smaller Nintendo franchises which may be in rest for the time being (Ganbarion, Treasure and Tose for instance).

So while I have made some suggestions about possible games these studios are working on, it may actually be that we see none of them release on WiiU at all. The most likely game to release on WiiU of the bunch? Fullblox World/Stretchmo World, and that isn’t exactly the big name game Nintendo fans are still hoping for.

The future of Nintendo: what’s to come after Spring 2016 (2)

E3 has come and gone and all the big players have made some exciting new announcements about their upcoming and future games. Unlike, for instance, Sony, Nintendo decided to focus on games they will be releasing in the coming year instead of in the coming years. For some (including myself) their digital E3 event was a bit underwhelming. Mostly because we already knew about most of their games that will release before the Spring of 2016. Especially when looking at WiiU.

In this series of articles I will look at what Nintendo will most likely deliver after Spring 2016. Of course I do not have a crystal ball, so what I will be presenting here are just some educated guesses about what Nintendo’s (affiliated) studios are most likely to be working on right now.

Next up: SPD 1, and SPD 2 and some of their third-party partners


SPD 1

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
SPD 1 Game & Wario

Rhythm Heaven: The Best Plus

June 2013

June 2015 (JP)

Rhythm Heaven series

Tomodachi series

WarioWare series

Metroid 2D series

(?) Rhythm Heaven: The Best Plus

Game & Wario

What are they working on?

SPD 1 usually co-develops (rhythm) games together with Intelligent Systems and TNX Music Recordings. With Intelligent Systems they work on the WarioWare series. With TNX Music Recording they work together on the Rhythm Heaven series. SPD 1 also develops games in the Tomodachi series. Because of the success of Tomodachi Life (the first entry in the series that was released overseas), SPD 1 is probably already working on a new entry in the Tomodachi series which will probably be released on the next handheld system (Fusion or not).

A new WarioWare should also be in development. Since Game&Wario wasn’t really a success (I’m being nice) the next WarioWare game will probably be for a handheld device, possibly still for the 3DS, but most likely for the next handheld system. Rhythm Heaven: The Best Plus just released in Japan last month. It may be localized for the Western market and if so, it should release around Summer 2016.

SPD 1 also co-produced (i.e. not co-developed) Metroid Other M. This happened when Yoshio Sakomoto (co-creator of Metroid) was still one of the main producers at SPD 1. He has now been promoted to Deputy Manager of SPD in general. Metroid Other M was mainly developed by third party developer Team Ninja (of Koei Tecmo) and was not very well received by Metroid fans. Chances of Team Ninja working on another 2.5 D Metroid game are slim. Because of Sakomoto’s promotion it is unsure whether another 2D Metroid game would be produced by SPD 1. It may as well be produced by another SPD group. Chances that we could see another 2D Metroid game before the next Metroid Prime and after Federation Force are high though in my opinion, but that is mostly because the next Prime isn’t in active development yet.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

SPD 1 does not regularly make or co-develop home console games. Game & Wario was somewhat of an exception, together with Metroid Other M. Because those game weren’t really successes, we will probably not see any more of SPD 1’s work on WiiU.

SPD 2

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
SPD 2 Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day! June 2007 / /

Option 1

What are they working on?

Nothing. SPD 2 hasn’t developed its own boxed game since the release of Brain Age 2 in the West. The Brain Age series is currently housed at EAD 4. The other notable release of SPD 2 was Tetris DS. The Tetris license is now held by Ubisoft. Their last real feat was a DSiWare Majhong game in 2009, which was never released in the West.

Nowadays SPD 2 mostly co-produces games together with Japanese third party developers, notably: Arika, Creatures Inc., Game Freak, Ganbarion, Intelligent Systems, Mistwalker, Monolith Soft, Red Entertainment, Platinum Games, Syn Sophia, Tose, Treasure and Valhalla Game Studios. I will discuss these co-production relationships separately.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

No SPD 2 developed games will release for WiiU. Some SPD 2 co-produced games will release for WiiU before Spring 2016. Some may release at a later date.

ARIKA

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Arika Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure June 2015 Dr. Mario series

3D Classics series

Endless Ocean series

(?) Endless Ocean 3

Dr. Mario Miracle Cure

What are they working on?

Arika is also known for the Street Fighter EX series (last game released in 2000). No game in the series has been released for a Nintendo system so far. It is known that they made a sample for a new fighting game on 3DS which featured characters from the Street Fighter EX series. That game demo never became a real game (unless it is still in development). They did make Tekken 3D Prime (released in 2012 for the 3DS) for Namco Bandai games. They could be working on a new fighting game, but chances are slim. On the other hand, with Street Fighter V being a PlayStation exclusive, why not release a new Street Fighter EX game on multiple platforms? I would be very interested in playing that game on WiiU.

Arika has mostly been making smaller games for digital and smartphone platforms ever since the release of Endless Ocean 2. If they are making another big game for a Nintendo platform, it will most likely be Endless Ocean 3, which may still come to WiiU, but chances of that happening are very slim.

A Dr. Mario game they made just released for 3DS and Dr. Luigi was released on WiiU in 2013. We will not see any more Dr. Mario games for current gen Nintendo platforms. The next Nintendo system will, of course, get a new Dr. Mario game developed by Arika somewhere in its life span. Development of that new title will probably be underway.

Other than that, Arika hasn’t released a 3D Classics game since 2012. It’s safe to say they are not working on any games in that series anymore.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

The only possible big name game that Arika may be working on for WiiU is Endless Ocean 3. Chances of that happening are very slim, but one can hope. They may still release a smaller match-three title (Puzzle Bobble? or something similar) for WiiU, but that’s not likely to happen.

CREATURES INC.

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Creatures Inc. Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs November 2010 Pokémon trading cards and toys

Pokémon trading card series

PokéPark series

Pokémon Ranger series

Earthbound (Mother) series

(?) PokéPark 3

Pokémon_Ranger_Guardian_Signs_Cover

What are they working on?

Creatures Inc. are mostly known for making Pokémon trading cards and Pokémon toys. Currently they are also making smartphone games. They haven’t released a single game for Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo WiiU so far. Chances that they are still actively making big budget games are slim. A new game in the Earthbound series would probably be made by 1-UP Studio (the former Brownie Brown) and the Pokémon games would be handled by Game Freak.

I’m going to go on a limp here and say that they may still be working on PokéPark 3 for WiiU with a release window of Summer 2016. Not likely to happen, but let’s just hope these guys haven’t completely stopped developing actual videogames. The original Pokémon Trading Card game for the GameBoy was one of my favorite games as a kid. I would love to see another one of those (i.e. story driven) on 3DS or on the next Nintendo handheld.

What does this mean for WiiU?

PokéPark 3 for WiiU, Summer 2016, or bust. No, in reality chances are slim of seeing a Creatures Inc. game on WiiU.

GAME FREAK

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Game Freak Pokémon Omega Ruby Pokémon Alpha Sapphire November 2014 Pokémon series

Drill Dozer

HarmoKnight

(?) Pokémon Z

Pokémon Omega and Alpha

What are they working on?

Game Freak is currently working on Tembo the Badass Elephant which is being published by Sega for PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One in July 2015. This is probably a side project, just like HarmoKnight for 3DS and Drill Dozer for DS were.

Game Freak is most likely working on Pokémon Z, which should release for Nintendo 3DS November 2016. If not Pokémon Z, they are working on the next gen Pokémon game which may still release on 3DS, but may as well release on the next generation of Nintendo handhelds.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Game Freak is most likely not working on a WiiU game… unless Sega would still want them to port Tembo the Badass Elephant to WiiU after the game flops or becomes a huge success on the other current gen platforms.

GANBARION

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Ganbarion One Piece: Unlimited World RED July 2014 Pandora’s Tower

One Piece Unlimited series

One Piece Grand series

(?) One Piece: Unlimited World BLUE

 One Piece Unlimited World RED

What are they working on?

Ganbarion is mostly known for developing One Piece videogames for Namco Bandai. Ever since 2005, every One Piece game they have made has seen a release on at least one Nintendo platform (as well as on other platforms sometimes). They are probably working on a new One Piece game. Probably another game in the Unlimited series, which may still come to WiiU (and 3DS), and which I’m labeling One Piece: Unlimited World BLUE. Maybe the fans can correct me on the color? I haven’t seen an episode past season 1 to be honest, so I don’t know which ocean color would be more logical.

Ganbarion also made Pandora’s Tower for Nintendo. Although a pretty unique game, it’s not likely to see a follow-up anytime soon.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Ganbarion is probably working on the next One Piece: Unlimited game. This game may still come to WiiU after Spring 2016.

INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Intelligent Systems Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. May 2015 Fire Emblem series

WarioWare series

Paper Mario series

Advance Wars series

Pushmo/ Fallblox series

Fire Emblem Fates

Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

What are they working on?

Though not really a third party studio anymore (although they have done some work with Square-Enix for DSi and Wii somewhat recently), relations with Intelligent Systems are still being handled by SPD 2.

Intelligent Systems should have finished working on Fire Emblem Fates by now because it was already released in Japan. This game reuses a lot of assets from Fire Emblem Awakening. Because of there being three different story versions of the game, it will still have taken a moderately sized team to produce. A small team may still be working on upcoming DLC for the game, but the main team will have started drawing the blueprints for the next Fire Emblem which will most likely not release on current gen systems anymore.

This is related to the fact that the we will still see Fire Emblem on WiiU in the form of Genei Ibun Roku X FE (Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem), which Intelligent Systems have been working on with Atlus. Development of that title is mostly taken care of by Atlus though.

Other notable projects of Intelligent Systems that have seen recent Western releases are Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and Fullblox (Stretchmo), both released in May. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. was not a commercial success and we will most likely not see a second game set in that world anytime soon. The WiiU may still get a Fallblox/Fullblox (Pushmo/Stretchmo) game in 2016, since Intelligent Systems have annualized the series… sort of, with one game per year ever since 2011, apart from 2013, which saw no release in the series. Possible title candidate: Fullblox World for WiiU. I say it will be released on WiiU mostly because the 3DS already has three games in the series.

As has been said when discussing what SPD 1 is working on currently, a new WarioWare should also be in the works at Intelligent Systems. Since Game&Wario wasn’t really a success (I’m being nice) the next WarioWare game will probably be for a handheld device again, possibly still for the 3DS, but most likely for the next handheld system.

The team that did Codename S.T.E.A.M. will probably have begun working on a new Advance Wars game. That game will most likely be released on the next handheld system.

The Paper Mario series is also one of Intelligent Systems’ staple series. Unlike most of the franchises they work on, the Paper Mario series is not coordinated by SPD 2, but by SPD 3 (which normally coordinates working relations with Western third party studios). There’s usually three to five years between every Paper Mario iteration. That means we may still see a  Paper Mario game on WiiU in 2016 (Sticker Star was released in 2013). On the other hand, in 2016 we will already be getting Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam on Nintendo 3DS, which is a crossover game between the Mario & Luigi series and the Paper Mario series. Most likely then, Paper Mario will skip WiiU, unless the console is still relevant in 2017.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Genei Ibun Roku X FE (Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem) will release in 2016. Chances are we will also see Fallblox World for WiiU in 2016. Paper Mario or Advance Wars? Don’t get your hopes up.