So what exactly have Masaya Kobayashi and Yoshito Higuchi of Namco Bandai done before they teamed up with Sakurai for Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS?
During the recent Nintendo Direct, Nintendo revealed that Masahiro Sakurai and his team at Sora were teaming up with Namco Bandai to work on the next Super Smash Bros. games.
The two names that were highlighted were Masaya Kobayashi and Yoshito Higuchi. Following the event, Sakurai and Kobayashi released statements about the collaboration, and Kobayashi explained that, in addition, Tetsuya Akatsuka and the main development staff from the Tekken series were also working on the game. It's reasonable to ask what these guys have done in the past, and if their pedigree seems worthy of Nintendo's beloved franchise.
Kobayashi's most recent work was Go Vacation, an extremely well-received mini-game collection for Wii. It was the spiritual sequel to two other Kobayashi-produced titles: We Ski and We Ski & Snowboard. He was given freedom to come up the idea for We Ski on his lonesome; he was just tasked by the higher-ups at Namco Bandai to make a game for Wii, and he wound up coming up with a solid skiing title and a new IP. Before that, he worked on three Ridge Racer games: Ridge Racer 7 (PS3), Ridge Racer 6 (Xbox 360), and Ridge Racer (PSP).
Yoshito Higuchi has vast experience with the Tales series, first working on the series in 2003 on the GameCube classic Tales of Symphonia. He later worked on Tales of the Abyss, which was ported to 3DS, and Tales of Vesperia. He also was involved in Tekken Tag Tournament and Soulcalibur Legends.
The third name mentioned is Tetsuya Akatsuka, who's earliest known work is Soul Blade, the first entry in the SoulCalibur series. He then went to work on the Tekken series (Tekken 3 and Tag Tournament) before moving on to work on SoulCalibur II, III, and Legends. He also worked on Tales of Vesperia with Higuchi, and recently directed Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs.
Kobayashi's statement also refers to "the art director/sound director of the "SoulCalibur" series," who appear to be Masashi Kubo (art director) and Junichi Nakatsuru (sound director), who worked on a variety of SoulCalibur games together.