If you were surprised by the announcement of a Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright crossover game (WHAT), you're not the only one. Even Capcom's global head of production, Keiji Inafune, exhibited some disbelief over the adventurous collaboration in a recent interview with Japanese mag Famitsu (translated by Eurogamer).

"I thought it would be impossible," he said, citing the careful handling of the Phoenix Wright character within Capcom, as well as creator Shu Takumi's insistence on trying new things (see: the upcoming Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective). "Nobody but Hino could have thought of it." Akihiro Hino, CEO of Level-5, was apparently instrumental in conceptualizing and then realizing this 3D battle of the brains. And there will be a bumping of heads between the two logic-minded protagonists, Inafune said, "before they join hands and take on a really big challenge."

Whether you're rooting for the spiky hair or the fabulous top hat, you'll be happy to know that neither Capcom nor Level-5 seem satisfied with a meet-and-greet cash-in between their cherished properties. "It wasn't a case of licensing out the Phoenix Wright characters and demanding our licence money. That isn't a collaboration, and users would see that," Inafune said. "For this standalone game, we wanted to create a great history, which would have been impossible if both parties were not fully involved."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.