Nintendo has announced that it's acquiring independent video game developer Next Level Games, a Canadian studio with a history of partnerships with the Japanese giant. The transaction announced today is expected to close on March 1, pending any regulatory and shareholder approvals.
According to the announcement, the acquisition comes as shareholders of Next Level Games had begun looking for potential buyers. Nintendo stepped in in order to secure its development resources, as well as potentially speeding up development on other titles by enabling closer communication and exchange of staff with Nintendo proper.
Founded in 2002, Next Level Games has primarily worked with Nintendo in the past, especially in recent years. Most notably, the studio has taken over the Luigi's Mansion series of games, having developed the second title in the series on the Nintendo 3DS, as well as 2019's Luigi's Mansion 3 on the Nintendo Switch. The Canadian team has also developed the Wii iteration of Punch-Out!! and the Mario Strikers games - arcade soccer titles featuring characters from the Mario universe.
Outside of its work with Nintendo, Next Level Games worked on a handful of smaller projects for other companies, such as Captain America: Super Soldier, published by Sega on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
With the acquisition, Next Level Games joins the ranks as one of the few Nintendo-owned studios outside of Japan, joining Retro Studios and Nintendo Software Technology, both based in North America. The announcement doesn't disclose how much the transaction is worth, and it's only expected to affect Nintendo's financial results in the next fiscal year.