Luigi's Mansion 2 dev will now work exclusively with Nintendo

Onto the Next Level.

Luigi's Mansion 2 and Mario Strikers developer Next Level Games will work exclusively with Nintendo on future projects, the studio has announced.

There's no suggestion, however, that the Canadian team has been acquired by Nintendo (unlike entirely-owned developers such as Retro Studios or Monolith Soft).

Still, Next Level Games co-founder Jason Carr seemed satisfied with the set-up when discussing the studio's future with Gamasutra.

"We are doing only Nintendo products now," he explained. "We're super happy with our relationship with Nintendo. There's no reason to look anywhere else. They keep giving us better and better IP to work with, and as long as we do our job and make good games for them there's no reason for us to venture out."

Next Level's sequel to Luigi's Mansion was warmly received upon its release last year, with critics agreeing that it was a worthy follow-up to Nintendo's own GameCube cult classic.

The studio's relationship with Nintendo stretches much further back, however. Next Level first worked with the platform holder on 2005 footy spin-off Super Mario Strikers and teamed up with Nintendo again on Wii sequel Strikers Charged. The studio also developed the Wii version of NES classic Punch-Out!!

In between these releases the studio ventured elsewhere with lesser success - it developed Transformers: Cybertron Adventures for Wii and worked with Sega on Captain America: Super Soldier.

"We got up to four teams," Carr recalled. "We were about 115, 120 people. We spread ourselves way too thin. We just ended up making sh***y games, really."

The advantages of a more focused, Nintendo-only future make a lot of sense, he concluded, refusing to comment on what the studio was building next.

"There are a lot of benefits to working with a first party. Nintendo's great. They give you the time to make games good. They've done really well - the Wii's done really well, the DS has done really well, the Wii U is not the strongest start but we trust that they'll come up with something to get it going, and the 3DS was a blast to work on."

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