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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - What if MonolithSoft went to Sony or Microsoft?

In 2007, Nintendo made a major move that at the time, baffled the gaming industry. They bought 85% of game developer MonolithSoft, Inc. from then-parent company, Bandai Namco. The move came as a shock as Nintendo had never historically been known to make big studio acquisitions, let alone one known for edgy niche RPGs like Xenogears or Baten Kaitos Since then, MonolithSoft had grown a tight relationship with Nintendo, operating as part of the company's Entertainment Planning & Development (EPD) Division creating the fan-favorite Xenoblade Chronicles series, along with assisting development of Nintendo's internally developed games such as Animal Crossing and the Zelda series.

But what if that didn't happen? What if MonolithSoft instead was gobbled up by one of Nintendo's competitors? Sony Computer Entertainment or Microsoft. How would Sony or Microsoft run the studio, and how would the lack of MonolithSoft affect Nintendo's output overall?

In Sony's case, I could see it working. SCE at the time, surprisingly didn't have large game development operation in Japan compared to its US and European teams, despite being a Japanese company (and to be quite honest, it still doesn't). Having MonolithSoft under SCE Worldwide Studios could've provided Sony with a reliable developer for RPGs, a genre most of their developers were gradually moving away from in the PS3 and PSP era, and if successful, could've prompted Sony to buy more Japanese studios to compliment it, JAPAN Studio, and Polyphony Digital, and make the Japan side of WWS as large as the US and Europe groups. MonolithSoft could've even had access to engines and tech developed by other Sony teams like Naughty Dog, Gurella, or Santa Monica Studio.

What about Microsoft? It might've been able to work too. Microsoft had never historically been a real player in Japan, and in the early 360 days, the company was attempting to make a splash in the scene in a big way with projects like Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, and others. MonolithSoft could've been a vital asset to Microsoft Game Studios, and give Microsoft a Japanese developer that could actually compete with the talent at Sony and Nintendo.

Where would that leave Nintendo? Well they would have to find other partners to make high profile RPGs with them, or simply not bother with the genre at all. It also would made projects like Zelda more difficult to produce, with more games getting hit with delays without a studio like MonolithSoft to help out.

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They would be shut down by now. Going to Nintendo is the best thing to happen to them.

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

They end up like RARE a distant memory in history



In the past they couldn't shine with all the limited resources they use to had, Nintendo was more patient with them and gave them more money and time to finish the first Xenoblade, I don't think Sony or Microsoft would be too openmind with them.

Nintendo ask them to create games that involves stronger romantic and friendship relationships, and they are good at it!

Sony standed a better chance to make them grow if they could include them in their first party titles, maybe they would like the results and work for bigger projects.

If they were bought on this times, I would say Microsoft could be a better option, looking at how much they are investing in their gaming section.

Leynos said:

They would be shut down by now. Going to Nintendo is the best thing to happen to them.

They may have survived in part or at least absorbed by Sony Japan. Maybe Sony Japan wouldn't be shut down then.

As for MS, I would agree that MS would have shut them down after a year or two.

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I don't know what would have happened to them, but it's nice that Nintendo has a top notch RPG series thanks to them. Since most third parties simply default to developing only on the highest end systems to show off the newest graphics Nintendo and the companies their second parties or whatever have to provide like 95% of the new (not old ported games) AAA software on Ninty systems.

Unlike in the 90s and early 2000s when Final Fantasy was THE rpg series and Square was THE rpg maker, these days there is no single studio or series that stands out like that as the pinnacle of the genre. There are numerous high quality studios and series that come and go and having one of them exclusive to Nintendo is nice when most studios skip Nintendo because its not competing for the latest graphics with the high end consoles. Though also that choice by third parties allows Xenoblade and Monolith to stand out because they are the one exclusive AAA traditional rpg series on Nintendo systems.

Just remember Nintendo expanded them to 4 studios and were vital to the development of BOTW. They assisted with Splatoon games. Mario Kart and others. Developed the Project X Zone series. They have done more than Xenoblade. Xenoblade is more successful with Nintendo than Xenosaga/Gears were on two of the best-selling consoles ever on PS1/PS2.

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

They either die rich or die trying/s

Honestly, I really don't know how things like the Xenoblade series and the expansion of Monolith Soft as a studio would've occured in a period where Microsoft didn't care much for Japanese titles after a short early push while the PlayStation side of things were slowly diluting their Japanese divisions.

Would've they had the patience to wait for the production of the big titles Monolith were coming with and invest in it more than they would've gained by the end ?

But hey, Xenoblade 3 at 60fps on the PS5 baby !

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They will either make an online game or a behind the shoulder, cinematic Action with stealth elements.
Better off staying with Nintendo.

I don't think they hit their stride. I think they still exist if they go to Sony but if they end up with MS? Finished.

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"In video game terms, RPGs are games that involve a form of separate battles taking place with a specialized battle system and the use of a system that increases your power through a form of points.

Sure, what you say is the definition, but the connotation of RPGs is what they are in video games." - dtewi