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Nintendo buying Luigi's Mansion 3 developer Next Level Games

Striker deal.

Next Level Games, the talented Canadian developer behind Luigi's Mansion 3, will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Nintendo.

Nintendo announced an agreement to purchase the developer this morning, pending shareholder and regulatory approval.

The Vancouver-based studio has long been an ally of Nintendo's. It developed the well-received Mario football spin-off Super Mario Strikers and its sequel for Wii, as well as the Wii iteration of Punch-Out!!

In 2016, Next Level Games was memorably tasked with creating a Metroid spin-off largely without series star Samus, which resulted in the widely-panned Metroid Prime: Federation Force.

But it has also become the new home of the Luigi's Mansion series, first with its decent 3DS stab Dark Moon and then most recently with the enjoyable Switch entry Luigi's Mansion 3.

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It's a relatively rare step for Nintendo to get out its wallet and buy an external studio outright, though other examples such as Retro Studios (snapped up in 2002) and Monolith Soft (purchased in 2007) do exist.

Next Level Games said back in 2014 that its time making licensed movie tie-ins (it used to also do a lot of these) was over, and that it would now work exclusively with Nintendo.

No terms for the deal have been made public, though it is expected to be closed by 1st March. Roll on Luigi's Mansion 4?