In a stunning move, Nintendo has purchased Xenosaga developer, Monolith Soft, from its previous majority shareholders, Namco Bandai. Nintendo, now the majority shareholder, owns 80% of the company’s stock, while Namco Bandai still owns 16% of their previous 96% shareholdings.
Holy snap. Wii gets itself some RPG pron.
For Nintendo fans, this is a moment for much rejoicing. Previous Nintendo consoles (N64-era and up) have had very little RPG support, with many RPG fans jumping ship to Nintendo’s rival, the Playstation. By bringing on-board one of the premier Japanese RPG developers, Nintendo is poised to take back the RPG crown that it lost after the SNES days. Monolith Soft is currently working on Disaster: Day of Crisis for the Wii, but one has to think (and hope) that they will revisit their RPG-powerhouses, the Xenosaga or Baten Kaitos series at some point.
This acquisition could not have come at a better time. The Wii is doing gangbusters right now, but has very little RPG support. The only one confirmed at this point seems to be Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, and that’s more of an action-RPG than the traditional turn-based gameplay that is usually associated with JRPG’s. So the more, the better, I say.
Also, Monolith Soft and Xenosaga/Baten Kaitos are a great source for adult content for the Wii and DS. Nintendo is still plagued with the whole “kiddie” appearance, but if they can start releasing RPG’s like Xenosaga on a regular basis, Nintendo might start to shed that annoying moniker for good.
This also depends on if Nintendo fans will buy titles like Xenosaga and Baten Kaitos on the Wii. Nintendo fans are notoriously picky when deciding their purchases, only going for one of Nintendo’s high profile franchises like Mario or Pokemon.
I’m willing to bet now that they are Nintendo-owned, Monolith Soft will have healthy sales for their titles, whereas they would have been pushed aside for a Nintendo-made title had they not become a 2nd party developer.
If they are successful, we’ll probably see a huge influx of RPG’s to the system, giving the Wii an even bigger boost in gamer appreciation, maybe unlocking some achievements of their own in the process.
In my mind, this is one the best moves Nintendo could have made right now. Kudos, Nintendo, for a job well done. Now just bring on the games.