After losing Rare, Silicon Knights and a handful of other talented second-party development contracts, Nintendo’s finally on the offensive in the Corporate Circle of Life, gobbling up other companies for its own profit. Today, Bandai Namco Holdings announced that Nintendo is purchasing an 80% stake in Monolith Soft, makers of the Xenosaga trilogy and Baten Kaitos series, as well as the upcoming Disaster: Day of Crisis on the Wii.
As part of the deal, Bandai Namco will retain a 16% share of the studio for its own dastardly schemes, but this news bodes well for Nintendo. On top of its own history of for-the-most-part excellent games (XSII notwithstanding — that game makes the baby Jesus cry), Monolith Soft includes a slew of former Square employees responsible for titles like Chrono Cross and Xenogears. Years after the mass-exodus of quality RPG development that went out the door with Square prior to the Nintendo 64’s advent, it looks like the big N is finally going to get some muscle in the realm of epic androgynous gaming.
What with Nintendo’s money-printing hardware and all — those evil, evil men and their quest for, y’know, profit — it’s surprising that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often now that Nintendo’s got the green to do it. There are plenty of worthy development studios that would fit right at home with Nintendo. Why the hell hasn’t anybody purchased Treasure and showered them in cash and women? Nintendo, get on it!