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What this Nintendo acquisition could mean for the future

Nintendo started off the new year by announcing that it's purchasing Next Level Games, the studio responsible for hits like Luigi's Mansion 3, Super Mario Strikers, and even a game in the Metroid franchise. According to Nintendo's official press release, the deal should close by March 1, 2021, and Nintendo could start seeing profit from the deal in the next fiscal year.

Long time Nintendo fans know Next Level Games' work, even if they're unfamiliar with the company's name specifically. The Canadian developer has created multiple successful Nintendo series, most notably two installments in the Luigi's Mansion franchise, along with the Super Mario Strikers games, which feature Mario and friends flexing their soccer skills. Unlike some sports-themed Mario games, Strikers actually earned a sequel in the Mario canon, and Next Level Games developed both entries in the series. While not perfect, Next Level Games' most impressive and critically-acclaimed work is easily Luigi's Mansion 3. Nintendo's acquisition of Next Level Games could provide a possibility for other games featuring Nintendo's intellectual property in the future.

What does this deal mean for Nintendo and Next Level Games in the long run? Next Level Games' website lists the company as a "AAA Nintendo developer," a title that feels more accurate than ever, now that Nintendo has officially acquired the studio. The game developer has worked with Nintendo for years, and has built its reputation on games made exclusively for Nintendo consoles.

The move to combine interests feels natural. Nintendo's announcement claims that the shareholders of Next Level Games, most of whom are directors and creators, felt that the "time is right for them to sell their shares." Nintendo's acquisition of Next Level Games makes sense, considering close working relationship between the two companies and the successful games both have produced together. Luigi's Mansion 3, for example, continues to sell well, with 7.83 million copies distributed worldwide as of November. If Next Level Games continues to create games with impressive physics and memorable characters like Luigi's Mansion 3, big profits could be in store for Nintendo in the future.

It's impossible to predict exactly what comes next, but Nintendo's relationship with Next Level Games should remain positive after the acquisition, meaning there are more weird and wild games in Nintendo's future. Who knows, maybe there might be more arcade collaborations in Nintendo's future, or at least more spooky Luigi's Mansion games for fans to enjoy.