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Nintendo Now Owns Wii Party Developer Nd Cube

The latest post in Nintendo's "Iwata Asks" Q&A series confirms Nd Cube's new ownership, and reveals that Mario Party team members have left Hudson Soft to join the subsidiary.
A recent interview from the Iwata Asks series [Japanese language] confirms that, as of August 2010, Nintendo now owns a 96 percent stake in Japanese developer Nd Cube, making the company an official subsidiary of Nintendo Co., Ltd. Nd Cube was originally formed in 2000 as a joint venture between Nintendo and Japanese advertising giant Dentsu, with the majority of shares (78 percent) belonging to Nintendo. However, this new interview confirms that Dentsu has stepped aside. Both producer Yoshimasu Ikeda and art lead Shuuichirou Nishitani, who previously worked on the Mario Party series together at Sapporo-based developer Hudson Soft, left that company to join the Nd Cube team and develop Wii Party, which was recently released in Japan. Ikeda has worked on Mario Party since its Nintendo 64 debut in 1998 -- working on all eight of the console titles in the series, plus the two portable installments for DS and Game Boy Advance. Shuuichirou Nishitani has been involved with the series since Mario Party 2. In the interview with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, he mentioned that he was involved with a different project while the first Mario Party was in the works, but thought the game looked "so incredibly fun" he was motivated to volunteer to work on the sequel. The most notable game previously developed by Nd Cube was F-Zero: Maximum Velocity for the Game Boy Advance, which launched alongside that system in 2001. Wii Party was released for the Nintendo Wii in Japan on July 8th. The game, which is similar to the Mario Party franchise, has topped the sales charts this month in that territory, with 736,207 units sold since launch. Wii Party is slated for release in North America and European territories in early October, and is one of Nintendo's key broad-appeal first-party Wii titles for this holiday season in the West.

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