Masahiro Sakurai, creator of Kirby and Super Smash Bros., has formed a new company with a ¥200 million ($2.16m) capital investment from Nintendo.
Sakurai will serve as president of the new studio, which is 72 percent owned by Nintendo. Previously, he headed up independent developer Sora, with the new company now being referred to as Project Sora. (The Japanese word "sora" refers to a vacuum, sky, or the heavens.)
Project Sora is currently looking to recruit a staff of 30, with the company expected to be fully up and running in early May. Although the company’s website is entirely in Japanese, it features a long interview with Sakurai and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata -- both of whom are veterans of second-party studio HAL Laboratory.
As translated by website andriasang.com, a statement on the website reads: "The thoughts of game designer Masahiro Sakurai and Nintendo have become one, and a new project has started. In order to expand what can be offered to the world through games, we will have Nintendo's full cooperation and make something that Nintendo could not do on its own."
Further hints as to the company’s plans are revealed in the interview, with Iwata commenting: "We've started a special project. We're not sure how it will sell or if it will be accepted. Our goal is not just to make a single game. We can promise that you'll be able to experience something different."
"If one were simply considering effective use of funding, we'd have went with a plan similar to Touch! Generations. But that's not I wanted," added Iwata. "We want to make something that will be wanted even by the more hardcore game players, and something that offers new ideas."
No specific platforms are mentioned, although the release date is implied to be 2011. Iwata specifically states that the new company is not working on a new Super Smash Bros. game.