Capcom's ardour for DmC: Devil May Cry studio Ninja Theory hasn't cooled since the publisher touted that "25-year wisdom transplant" to the Cambridge-based independent last August. Speaking to VG247, Capcom US producer Alex Jones has praised Ninja Theory's "proven track record of delivering quality products", and says he's keen for the relationship to continue.
"These guys have been amazing," Jones began. "Like most developers would had three or four random guys from Japan show up at some point and start lecturing them about how to do stuff, and it might not have gone as well.
"But the Japanese guys are super-open about knowing what Ninja Theory did well and leaving them alone to do that, and the Ninja Theory guys were really good about knowing that there is almost 30 years of fighting game experience at this table and thinking, 'We should probably listen to them.'"
According to Jones, veteran Capcom designers spent "a week out of every month" tutoring Ninja Theory during DmC's development. The results, by our lights at least, are palpable - the new game is a complex, testing beast, though perhaps not quite as complex or testing as the fearsomely inaccessible Devil May Cry 3.
"There are very few good independent developers, and if you get the chance to lock one or two down and continue to work with them, as a publisher you have to do that," Jones commented, when asked whether future collaborations were possible.
"Because firstly you'll never have enough internal capacity - given the expense involved in making games - to keep your portfolio level where it needs to be. Guys like Ninja Theory and Dontnod who - in the case of Ninja Theory have a proven track record of delivering quality products more or less on time, and at an expected level of quality - I mean yeah, you have to keep working with those guys."
Ninja Theory's communications manager Dominic Matthews is similarly upbeat about things. "There's a lot of talent on both sides," he told the site, "and I think like Alex said, Capcom has got such a rich heritage in fighting games - probably better than anyone else in the world - so it's humbling for us to work with these people who know these things so well."
Where Capcom brought combat expertise, Ninja Theory contributed storytelling prowess and a distinct visual style. "What we bring to the table is a different set of skills - story-telling, visuals, action gameplay that we've shown in out previous games - and there is huge mutual respect," Matthews explained.
"The partnership between Capcom and Ninja Theory is very strong, and actually we're quite similar in many ways because we have such high standards on both sides that we both know we're pulling in the right direction.
"We've got amazing designers who have worked on this for three years, but we've also had amazing partners at Capcom with Itsuno-san, who was director on previous Devil May Cry games and who held our hands at the start, and helped us get this exactly right."
Only a few days to go till our review. Any score predictions?