Monolith Soft, the developers behind the Xenoblade series, has opened up a new studio in Iidabashi, a district of Chiyoda, Tokyo.
The announcement was made via twitter by Monolith Soft artist Yasuyuki Honne, who has worked on the Xenoblade Chronicles games and previously did artwork for the Baten Katios series.
This is the third studio now for Monolith Soft. Their primary Tokyo studio is where most of the Monolith IPs are created and developed. Their second Kyoto studio, which opened in 2011, was created to work more closely with parent company Nintendo, after the gaming giant acquired the developer in 2007. The Kyoto studio has worked with Nintendo on several projects for the Nintendo switch, including helping in the development of Splatoon 2 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The Iidabashi studio’s purpose is currently unknown, as Monolith Soft has not announced any new projects beyond DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. However, a report last year from Gematsu stated that the developer was hiring designers, programmers, planners and management support with experience in “action game development for an ambitious project different from the brand image of Monolith Soft.”
The recruitment page also contained fantastical artwork of an armor-clad woman and a dragon, possibly hinting at what the project may be. Monolith Soft has not confirmed anything at this time, including if their recent hirings are directly related to the opening of the Iidabashi studio.
The new studio is expected to begin operations this month.
Monolith Soft could be working on pretty much anything with the new studio at this point. The interesting thing now though is how big they have gotten; three studios and a close relationship with Nintendo, it seems like they are expanding their game output for sure.
The question now is, will it be new IP or something old school. Will Nintendo give them a franchise to work on like Retro Studios? I guess we will see if E3 mentions anything about it, but its very unlikely Monolith Soft will be at E3 this year.
What are your thoughts though? Happy to see a new studio? What do you think they are working on? Leave your comments below.