A new episode of  Nintendo Direct has just aired in Japan, and with it came an update on the next set of Super Smash Bros. games for the 3DS and Wii U. Along with news of a newly redesigned Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo admitted that the next two instalments of Super Smash Bros., both currently in development at the exact same time, were understandably a big undertaking for the entirety of the Project Sora team.

To compensate for the lack of a large development team on both projects, the Big N has announced that they’ll be outsourcing the work to Namco Bandai for the new Smash iterations.

Diehard fans of the crossover-centric beat ’em up may be concerned with this announcement, but Nintendo has assured gamers that the entire project is still being overseen/developed from series creator Masahiro Sakurai and his team at Project Sora. An official statement from the legendary game designer was released today in which he praised the work of Namco Bandai on the projects thus far, and revealed that they even have a pretty good looking prototype running — although the wait for either version will still be a long one.

“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. With that said, I’ve realized 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. I would love to provide more information, but for now, I’m going to stay quiet until I have something solid to show you.”

“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 Studios’ 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 maximize and offer fun new gameplay elements, the entire team is going to work hard together. Thank you.”

Namco Bandai’s Masaya Kobayashi also released a statement expressing how excited his team was to be working on the fan-favorite Super Smash Bros. franchise. The company responsible for well-known fighting games such as Tekken and SoulCalibur have assembled a self-admitted “dream team” for the project, once again reassuring that the quality of each game is at the precipice of this development deal.

“I’m so honored to be able to join the Smash Bros. team–that globally popular series of which Japan is particularly proud–and to work alongside of Mr. Sakurai.”

“In order to make Mr. Sakurai proud, we will take on this project with NAMCO BANDAI’s best staff! Yoshito Higuchi, the producer and the director of the Tales series, Tetsuya Akatsuka, producer and director of Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs., the art director/sound director of the SoulCalibur series, the main development team staff from the TEKKEN series…and that’s just for starters. All the top creators from NAMCO BANDAI are gathered here to create a never-before-seen dream team for this project. We will fully utilize our experience and knowledge in action/fighting game development, technical capability, and organizational strength, and we hereby promise you that we will develop the best and most powerful Super Smash Bros. title ever! Don’t miss it!”

Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U sound like they’re coming along rather nicely, and even though they’re still quite a ways off, the quality in each title has been assured with Sakurai overseeing the entirety of both projects. The partnership makes a lot of sense, and with several different veterans of the genre teaming up to tackle both games there’s almost no chance that the next Smash will be anything less than what fans have been waiting for.

Now that Namco Bandai is officially aiding with the development of Super Smash Bros. 4, does this mean that some of their characters may make their way into the fray? I know people have wanted to pit Agumon against Pikachu for a while now…

Follow me on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.

Source: Nintendo