A (Nintendo) License to Steal


When Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata outlined his company’s plans to begin licensing its characters and franchises to more developers, my mind started racing thinking about the different possibilities. We’ve already gotten a bit of a preview of this with the announcement of Hyrule Warriors and Shin Megami X Fire Emblem, so playing off of those examples, lets think about what else might be coming our way in the future. I’ve put together some dream team combinations of developers and franchises; let’s hope they actually happen!

5) Star Fox by Treasure

Anyone who played either of the Sin & Punishment games knows just how intense developer Treasure’s shooters can be. While the stories in Treasure’s titles can be a bit on the… zany side, the gameplay itself never disappoints. Letting them go nuts with Star Fox seems like a perfect match, as the series has always been at its best when the screen is littered with enemies and explosions. With a more focused, Star Fox-centered narrative in tow, this could be the pinnacle of Treasure’s offerings to date. Just no thigh high white boots for Fox, please; that was scary enough in Star Successor.

4) Metroid by Bethesda

While a return to first-person for the Metroid series would be more than welcome, it would be amazing to see Bethesda setting up shop behind Samus’s HUD. A Metroid game taking cues from the Elder Scrolls and Fallout titles has a lot of potential to push the series farther than ever. A grittier romp through Samus’s universe would be a welcome change of pace from Other M‘s polarizing third-person adventure.

BONUS-Metroid by Konami

Hey, why not? The company that created the Metroidvania subgenre of platformers would be perfect to helm Samus’s return to 2D! Koji Igarashi has surely dreamt of what he’d do with the franchise he so lovingly imitated. so I see no reason for Nintendo to not let him take a crack at Metroid for real!

3) Golden Sun by SquareEnix

While I was a fraction of an inch from attaching Fire Emblem to Square, I think that the company behind Final Fantasy could do wonders with Nintendo’s underutilized RPG series. The blistering production values Square is known for would bring Golden Sun to life like never before. Adapting the series play mechanics to a game as pretty as Final Fantasy XIII, and I can’t wait to see what this pairing might yield.

2) Kid Icarus by Platinum

The high thrills and kinetic action of Kid Icarus Uprising would fit developer Platinum like a glove. Its mixture of melee combat, aerial shooting, and huge personalities would only be pushed to 11 under Platinum’s guidance, especially if Hideki Kamiya was attached to the project. The resurrection of the Kid Icarus franchise was too wonderful to let slip to the back burner; in the hands of a quality developer like Platinum, Pit could walk on the sun if he wanted, not just fly close to it.

1) Zelda by Capcom

I’m just going to say it; Capcom can make a Zelda game as engaging as Nintendo itself. I think that argument can be made with Oracle of Ages and Seasons alone, but it’s really cemented by the wonderful work the company did with Minish Cap. I’m excited by Hyrule Warriors, but I see no reason why there can’t be more than one marquee Zelda adventure developed at the same time. If there’s any company that can be trusted with Zelda, it’s Capcom.


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