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Business deals

Nintendo to buy Luigi's Mansion developer in rare acquisition

Canada-based Next Level Games brings strength in action titles

Luigi's Mansion 3, developed by Next Level Games for the Switch console, has sold 7.83 million copies through September. (Photo courtesy of Nintendo)

OSAKA -- Nintendo will buy Canadian developer Next Level Games as the Japanese company seeks know-how on action games in an increasingly competitive industry.

The Canadian game developer will become a wholly owned subsidiary effective March 1, Nintendo said Tuesday. The deal is expected to be worth several billion yen (1 billion yen equals $9.7 million), though no official figure has been announced.

Next Level Games, founded in 2002, has worked on several hit titles for Nintendo like Luigi's Mansion 3 and the Mario Strikers series. Luigi's Mansion 3, released in late 2019, has sold 7.83 million copies worldwide through September and helped drive the popularity of Nintendo's Switch console.

Nintendo has not bought a game studio since Tokyo-based Monolith Soft in 2007.

As competition grows in the gaming industry, it has partnered with mobile game developers Cygames and DeNA and invested in Pokemon Go developer Niantic Labs.

Rivals Sony and Microsoft both released new gaming consoles in November. Google and Amazon are making inroads in cloud gaming, while Asian players like China's Tencent Holdings have grown quickly as well.

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