Next Super Smash Bros being developed by Namco Bandai

Update: Now with comments from Masahiro Sakurai and Namco Bandai's Masaya Kobayashi.

Nintendo did not internally develop Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii. Instead, it was a collaboration between a number of third party studios, including Game Arts, Monolith Soft, and Paon. Project Sora's Masahiro Sakurai, who directed the original N64 game when he was at HAL Laboratories, remained director of this hodgepodge development team.

Well, it appears Nintendo is outsourcing development once again for the next Smash Bros game.

In a Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed that Namco Bandai will be developing the game, in addition to Project Sora. Sakurai will return as director, alongside Yoshito Higuchi, director of Tales of Vesperia.

It's only been a few months since the release of Project Sora's last game, Kid Icarus Uprising, so it might be quite some time before we hear more. "The project has just gotten started," Sakurai said in a prepared statement on Nintendo's website. "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."

Namco Bandai's Masaya Kobayashi also offered a comment, promising the new Smash Bros will be developed with "Namco Bandai's best staff," with members from the Tekken and Soulcalibur teams participating. "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!"