Since the Super Mario RPG remake was announced by Nintendo, there has been a cone of secrecy around its developer. Commonly, the game was only listed as being in development by Nintendo, with few clues about whether it was being handled internally, by a support studio, or by a third party. Now, we have an answer, as those who preloaded the game have discovered developer credits belonging to ArtePiazza, shared with Nintendo’s Entertainment Planning & Development Division (EPD).
ArtePiazza has a close working relationship with modern day Square Enix – which developed the original Super Mario RPG under the “Square” brand before the company joined forces with Dragon Quest publisher Enix.
The studio has mostly served in a support capacity in the past, working on titles including Dragon Quest 3, Dragon Quest 6, and enhanced ports of this series for Nintendo 3DS. It also worked on enhanced ports of the Romancing SaGa series from Square Enix, as well as original games, like Arrow of Laputa and Rikishi.
Given ArtePiazza’s long history with Square Enix, the studio feels like a solid choice for Super Mario RPG.
Per details surfaced by VGC, a number of staff who worked on the original game are also reportedly credited for this new version, including event designer Taro Kudo, co-director Yoshihiko Maekawa, and composer Yoko Shimomura – and there’s no doubt their input aided work on the title.
In our early preview of the game, we noted the original game had seemingly been remade faithfully, and with a strong attention to detail. Now, we know this approach has been informed by the work of the original game developers, and a studio with a reputation for quality RPG ports.
“Those who’ve played the original game will find the adventure immediately familiar,” we wrote. “This is essentially Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars with a fresh lick of paint, in the form of a new ‘chibi’ visual style which injects more vivid colours, and crisper textures into the original game.”
“It’s immediately striking – and while its plot feels relatively same-y after years of saving Princess Peach, there are enough clever tweaks and playful writing choices to make the quest feel fresh all over again.”
While it’s believed that Square Enix only had a supervisory role in the development of Super Mario RPG, ArtePiazza and Nintendo EPD’s work left a strong impression on us in our early preview. We look forward to sharing more about the game in our full review.