You really have to give Ubisoft credit for aggressively pursuing their partnership with Nintendo even after they faltered on the Wii U. Most of you really seem to be taking to it, and now we know just how aggressive they are: the Starlink team apparently had a full mockup, 3D-printed Arwing and all, ready to go before they even met with Nintendo.
Speaking to Okay Cool, producer Matthew Rose explained that the team had the Star Fox pitch in mind the entire time: “we always thought ‘maybe, maybe they’ll be interested. Maybe this is something we can do’ and so we started right away, because we were like ‘we’re so excited by even them having this conversation with us, even though they hadn’t confirmed anything.’ And so we started working. We started drawing concepts, we made a 3D-printed Arwing that had their proper connectors and toys in it so that you could take it apart and everything.”
After “cautiously working” on the idea the team spray-painted the Arwing model, brought it to Kyoto with some concept art, and met with Nintendo. Rose says that in a crazy twist, the entire Star Fox team and Shigeru Miyamoto were there waiting for them. He recalls being “massively outnumbered” by them but in the end, managed to snag the deal.