Believe it or not, it has been almost a decade since LEGO City Undercover released on Nintendo‘s Wii U console. It has also been 4 years since it released on the Nintendo Switch. And according to lead animator Matt Palmer and LEGO Group producer Darryl Kelley, Nintendo played more of a role with the game than you think.
Palmer and Kelley talked about the matter in an episode of a podcast called Bits N’ Bricks. Palmer revealed that Nintendo was involved in “everything from, obviously the development side, even right down through the marketing piece and the plans to actually go to market with the title”. Nintendo even expressed interest in “making this an exclusive title for their new console, which was in development at that point”.
According to Kelley, “I think there had been conversations about working with Nintendo, but more maybe on the physical brick side, so potentially having, you know, whether it be a licensed deal or looking at some of the different properties that Nintendo has and actually producing physical LEGO sets, but never to a degree of creating and working really jointly together to create a title, that in this case, again, would be treated as really a first-party title on their platform”.
Kelley continued, saying that “we would meet with them hand-in-hand, work very closely by a gentleman named Tim Bechtel over in Nintendo of America. We would talk about the game development. We would review builds at the same time, provide our feedback and input test, help the QA. So they were very, very involved in terms of not only just the development ensuring it lives up to the quality that we would all expect from both Nintendo and the LEGO Group, and the high standards I think that we all have, but then also the go-to-market strategy, too, was something that was very deeply integrated across the LEGO Group and Nintendo”.