Number of locations
Japan, United States, Europe
Products Various video game titles
Various game consoles
Services Nintendo Network
Number of employees
≥ 3000
Parent Nintendo
Divisions Entertainment Planning & Development
European Research & Development
Network Service Database
Platform Technology Development
Nintendo Software Technology
Technology Development
Subsidiaries 1-UP Studio
Monolith Soft
Nd Cube
Retro Studios
Website Script error
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Nintendo is one of the world's biggest video game development companies, having created several successful franchises. Because of its storied history, the developer employs a methodical system of software and hardware development that is mainly centralized within its offices in Kyoto and Tokyo, in cooperation with its division Nintendo of America in Redmond, Washington. The company also owns several worldwide subsidiaries and funds partner affiliates that contribute technology and software for the Nintendo brand.[1][2]

Main offices Edit

Nintendo office

Nintendo Central Office

Nintendo (NCL) has a central office located in Minami-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan (Script error

) and a nearby building, its pre-2000 headquarters, now serving as a research and development building, located in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan (Script error

). Its original Kyoto headquarters can still be found at (Script error

). Additionally, Nintendo has a third operation in Tokyo, Japan, where research and development and manufacturing are conducted. All three offices are interconnected and have video conferences often for communication and presentation purposes.

In 2009, it was revealed that Nintendo was expanding both its Redmond and Kyoto offices. The new office building complex of Nintendo of America in Redmond is Template:Convert/sqft and would expand its localization, development, debugging, production, and clerical teams. Nintendo announced the purchase of a 40,000 square-meter lot that would house an all new research and development (R&D) office that would make it easier for the company's two other Kyoto R&D offices to collaborate as well as expand the total work force on new upcoming console development and new software for current and future hardware.[1][2]

Nintendo owns several buildings throughout Kyoto and Tokyo housing subsidiary and affiliated development studios. One of the more famous buildings is the Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo building – previously known as the Nintendo Tokyo Prefecture Building – now jokingly called The Pokémon Building, accommodates the complete Pokémon family which includes The Pokémon Company, Creatures Inc., and Genius Sonority.[3]

Buildings Edit

Nintendo Research & Development Buildings
Name Location Developer(s)
Nintendo Central Office Kyoto, Japan formerly Nintendo EAD, Systems Research & Development (SRD)
Nintendo Kyoto Research Institute Kyoto, Japan formerly Nintendo SPD, Intelligent Systems (moved into a new building next near Nintendo Central Offices),[4] currently Mario Club
Nintendo Kyoto Development Complex Kyoto, Japan Was originally scheduled to open at the end of December 2013,[5] but did not until June 2014.[6] Currently houses the Entertainment Planning & Development (EPD), Platform Technology Development (PTD), and Business Development divisions
Nintendo Tokyo Office Tokyo, Japan Nintendo EPD Tokyo
Nintendo Tokyo Prefecture Building Tokyo, Japan The Pokémon Company, Creatures Inc., Genius Sonority
Nintendo of America Headquarters Redmond, Washington, US Nintendo Software Technology (NST)
Nintendo Technology Development Seattle, Washington, US Nintendo Technology Development (NTD)
Nintendo European Research & Development Paris, France Nintendo European Research & Development (NERD)

Former offices Edit

  • Nintendo Sapporo Office – Sapporo, Japan – closed
  • Nintendo Fukuoka Office – Fukuoka, Japan – closed

Divisions Edit

Entertainment Planning & Development (EPD) Edit

Main article: Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development

The Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development division was created on September 16, 2015, as part of a company-wide organizational restructure that took place under Nintendo's then newly appointed president, Tatsumi Kimishima. The division was created after the merger of two of its largest divisions, Entertainment Analysis & Development (EAD) and Software Planning & Development (SPD).[7]

The division assumed both of its predecessors' roles, focusing on the development of games and software for Nintendo platforms and mobile devices; it also manages and licenses the company's various intellectual properties. Shinya Takahashi, formerly General Manager of the SPD division, serves as General Manager of the new division, as well as supervisor for both the Business Development and Development Administration & Support divisions. Katsuya Eguchi and Yoshiaki Koizumi maintained their positions as Deputy General Managers of EPD, which they previously held under EAD.[7]

Platform Technology Development (PTD) Edit

Main article: Nintendo Platform Technology Development

The Nintendo Platform Technology Development division was created on September 16, 2015, as part of a company-wide organizational restructure that took place under Nintendo's then newly appointed president, Tatsumi Kimishima. The division was created after the merger of two Nintendo's divisions, the Integrated Research & Development (IRD), which specialized in hardware development, and System Development (SDD), which specialized operating system development and its development environment and network services.[7]

The new division assumed both of its predecessors' roles. Ko Shiota, formerly Deputy General Manager of the IRD division, serves as the General Manager, while Takeshi Shimada, formerly Deputy General Manager of the Software Environment Development Department of the SDD division, serves the same role.[7]

Business Development Division (BDD) Edit

The Nintendo Business Development division was formed following Nintendo's foray into software development for smart devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. They are responsible for refining Nintendo's business model for dedicated game system business, and for furthering Nintendo's venture into development for smart devices.

Subsidiaries Edit

Although most of the research and development is done in Japan, there are also R&D facilities in the United States and Europe.

"I didn't really go into this today, but Nintendo European Research and Development SAS France (NERD) helped us with our video player and Nintendo Software Technology (NST) helped with WebKit's JavaScript JIT, so this new Internet Browser really came about with help from so many different people outside the company."

— Tetsuya Sasaki, Software Development & Design Department[8]
Name Location Works
Nintendo Software Technology (NST) Redmond, Washington, USA Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, Wii Street U and other games and apps, helped with WebKit's JavaScript JIT[8]
Nintendo Technology Development (NTD) Redmond, Washington, USA Video game console development and software technology.
Nintendo European Research & Development (NERD) Paris, France Formerly known as Mobiclip, doing various software technologies such as video compression and middleware, including the video player of the Wii U Internet Browser.[8]
Nintendo Network Service Database (NSD) Kyoto, Japan Nintendo Network programming and server maintenance. Co-operates with the Nintendo Network Business & Development (NBD) division.

Nintendo Software Technology (NST) Edit

Main article: Nintendo Software Technology

Nintendo Software Technology Corp. (or NST) is an American video game developer located inside of Nintendo of America's headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The studio was created by Nintendo as a first-party developer to create games for the North American market, though their games have also been released in other territories such as Europe and Japan, exclusively for Nintendo consoles.

The studio's best known projects include the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, Crosswords series, Wii Street U and other video games and applications.

Nintendo Technology Development (NTD) Edit

Main article: Nintendo Technology Development

Nintendo Technology Development Inc. (or NTD) is a Washington-based hardware focused Research & Development group for Nintendo. The group focuses on the creation of various software technologies, hardware tools, and development kits for first-party use and third-party licensing across Nintendo platforms, in collaboration with the Nintendo Integrated Research & Development division led by Genyo Takeda. Several side projects and unreleased prototypes are commonly linked to this Washington based subsidiary. NTD is also responsible for some low-level coding.

Nintendo European Research & Development (NERD) Edit

Main article: Nintendo European Research & Development

Nintendo European Research & Development SAS (or NERD), formerly known as Mobiclip, is a Nintendo subsidiary, located in Paris, France. The team currently focuses on developing software technologies, such as video compression, and middleware for Nintendo platforms.[9] While an independent company, Mobiclip was responsible for licensing video codecs for Sony Pictures Digital, Fisher-Price and Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Wii and Nintendo 3DS.

The team has recently been involved in the development of the Wii U Chat application, in co-operation with Vidyo.

Nintendo Network Service Database (NSD) Edit

Main article: Nintendo Network Service Database

Nintendo Network Service Database Inc. (or NSD) was formerly known as Wii no Ma. Originally created by Nintendo to provide digital entertainment as a service for Wii owners, the company has since been renamed.[10]

Currently, Nintendo Network Services handles all Nintendo Network operations, including programming and server maintenance inside Nintendo's in-house projects through the Nintendo Network Business & Development division and throughout various other external online software infrastructures. Lastly, the company also cooperates in developing third party online infrastructures compatible with Nintendo consoles and Nintendo Network.

Most external first-party software development is done in Japan, since the only overseas subsidiary is Retro Studios in the United States. Although these studios are all subsidiaries of Nintendo, they are often referred to as external resources when being involved in joint development processes with Nintendo's internal developers by the Nintendo Software Planning & Development division.

Name Location Works
1-UP Studio Tokyo, Japan Magical Vacation series, Mother 3 and A Kappa's Trail. Currently, a development co-operation studio.[citation needed]
Monolith Soft Tokyo, Japan Xeno and Baten Kaitos series and Disaster: Day of Crisis, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.[11]
Kyoto, Japan Development co-operation studio.[citation needed]
Nd Cube Tokyo, Japan Wii Party and Mario Party series.
Retro Studios Austin, Texas, USA Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country series.

1-UP Studio Edit

Main article: 1-UP Studio

1-UP Studio Co., Ltd. (1‐UPスタジオ株式会社?), formerly Brownie Brown Inc. (ブラウニーブラウン Buraunī Buraun?), is a Japanese Nintendo-funded and owned video game development studio opened on June 30, 2000 and based in Tokyo, Japan. On February 1, 2013, Brownie Brown announced on their official website that due to their recent co-development efforts with Nintendo, Brownie Brown are undergoing a change in internal structure, which includes changing the name of their company to 1-UP Studio.[12]

The studio is known for the development of the Magical Vacation series, Mother 3 and A Kappa's Trail. Currently, it stands as a development co-operation studio.[citation needed]

Monolith Soft Edit

Main article: Monolith Soft

Monolith Soft, Inc. (株式会社モノリスソフト Kabushiki-Gaisha Monorisu Sofuto?) is a Japanese video game development company that has created video games for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, Nintendo DS, and cell phones. The company currently has two main studios, its Tokyo Software Development Studio, which is housed in the company's headquarters, and the recently opened Kyoto Software Development Studio. The company was previously owned by Bandai Namco, until 2007 when Bandai Namco transferred 80% of its 96% stake to Nintendo. At a later date the remaining 16% was sold so the company is currently 96% Nintendo owned and 4% third parties. A majority of Monolith Soft's staff are former employees of Square Co., who transferred to the new company shortly after the creation of Chrono Cross. They were previously involved with the creation of Xenogears, from which the Xenosaga series is derived.

Monolith Soft's Tokyo Software Development Studio is usually associated with the Xeno series, the Baten Kaitos series and Disaster: Day of Crisis,[11] while its Kyoto Software Development Studio is currently a development co-operation studio.[citation needed]

Nd Cube Edit

Main article: Nd Cube

Nd Cube Co., Ltd (エヌディーキューブ株式会社 Enudī Kyūbu Kabushiki Gaisha) is a Nintendo subsidiary and Japanese video game developer based in Japan with offices in Tokyo and Sapporo. The company was founded on March 1, 2000, through a joint venture between Nintendo and advertising firm Dentsu, hence the Nd in the name.[13] In 2010, Nintendo decided to buy out 96% of the shares, with ad partner Dentsu stepping aside.[14] Since Nd Cube was founded, they have kept a low profile, working on various Japanese GameCube and Game Boy Advance titles. Two notable games that have reached western shores are F-Zero: Maximum Velocity and Tube Slider. As seen in the credits for Mario Party 9, Nd Cube indeed houses many ex-Hudson Soft employees, some vary between folks who have focused primarily on many other entries in the Mario Party series.

The company is currently best known for the Wii Party series and for taking over the Mario Party series, after Hudson Soft was absorbed into Konami.

Retro Studios Edit

Main article: Retro Studios

Retro Studios, Inc. is an American video game developer based in Austin, Texas. The company was founded in October 1998 by the video game veteran Jeff Spangenberg after leaving Acclaim Entertainment, as an independent studio making games exclusively for Nintendo. The studio started with four Nintendo GameCube projects which had a chaotic and unproductive development, and did not impress Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto, but he suggested they create a new game in the Metroid series. Eventually the four games in development were cancelled so Retro could focus only on Metroid Prime, which was released for the GameCube in 2002, the same year Nintendo acquired the studio completely by purchasing the majority of Spangenberg's holding stock.

Retro Studios is now one of the most renowned Nintendo first-party developers thanks to the development of the Metroid Prime series and for reviving the Donkey Kong Country series.

Partners Edit

Creatures Inc. Edit

Main article: Creatures (company)

Creatures Inc. (株式会社クリーチャーズ Kabushiki-gaisha Kurīchāzu?) is a Japanese video game development company closely linked with Nintendo. It was founded by Tsunekazu Ishihara in November 1995, as a successor to Shigesato Itoi's company Ape Inc.[15] Its current president is Hirokazu Tanaka. The company has its headquarters on the second floor of the Gobancho KU Building (五番町KUビル Gobanchō KU Biru?) in Chiyoda, Tokyo,[16] in proximity to the Japan Rail Ichigaya Station.[17]

The company's best known project include the development of the Pokémon Ranger series, PokéPark series and the EarthBound (Mother) series (with HAL Laboratory and the former Brownie Brown, now 1-UP Studio).

Former divisions Edit

Name Active Additional details Fate
Nintendo Research & Development 1
(Nintendo R&D1)
1970–2002 The original game development team at Nintendo. Originally created in the 1970s by Hiroshi Imanishi as the games division of Nintendo Co., Ltd. Gunpei Yokoi was the original engineer and inventor designated to create electronic toys and arcade coin-operated software. With the conception of the Famicom (known as the Nintendo Entertainment System in the West), the Virtual Boy, and Game Boy, the group was reassigned to concentrate on developing the premier software for console and portable gaming straying away from its original toys, Game & Watch, and arcade roots. Nintendo EAD
Nintendo SPD
Nintendo RED
Nintendo Research & Development 2
(Nintendo R&D2)
1972–2002 This group mainly concentrated on hardware technology and system operating tools. Masayuki Uemura was hired away from Sharp Corporation where he specialized in solar cell technology. The solar technology fueled the original bean gun games which Nintendo introduced to huge success. The team would go on to develop several peripherals and eventually even some video game software. The team generally assisted Nintendo R&D1 and Nintendo R&D3 with their arcade games, but it also became the first team to specialize in software ports at Nintendo with the task of porting all the original arcade titles like Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and Popeye to the Famicom.[18] Nintendo EAD
Nintendo SPD
Nintendo Research & Development 3
(Nintendo R&D3)
1974–1996 Originally created as a hardware engineering division, Genyo Takeda managed to diversify his group and create software on the same arcade boards being designed for Gunpei Yokoi's R&D1 team. After developing the arcade hits like Sheriff, Punch-Out!! and Arm Wrestling, the team was involved in developing a variety of unique software for the NES that was mainly aimed at the Western market, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and StarTropics to name a few. The team also helped create bank switching and the MMC chips in the NES cartridges. Nintendo IRD
Nintendo Research & Development 4
(Nintendo R&D4)
1983–1992 In 1984, Hiroshi Yamauchi, former president of Nintendo, rewarded Shigeru Miyamoto his own development studio after proving himself his ability to consistently produce both critically acclaimed and successful video game with the original Donkey Kong and Mario Bros.. Although the team didn't have as many resources as Nintendo R&D1, R&D4 also focused on developing NES games. It ended up creating Nintendo's two most enduring franchises: Mario and The Legend of Zelda. During the development of the Super NES, Nintendo R&D4 was renamed Nintendo EAD. Today Nintendo EAD is the largest game development division of Nintendo. Takashi Tezuka joined Shigeru Miyamoto in developing R&D4 games, with music composition being handled by Koji Kondo. To this day, the three of them still work together in most Nintendo EAD projects. Nintendo EAD
Nintendo Tokyo R&D Products 1987–1989 In the early 1980s, Nintendo planned to expand software R&D into the Tokyo manufacturing branch building to operate alongside its overcrowded Kyoto headquarters. The initial plans became delayed and shortly after the development of the original Mother, the group ceased development. N/A
Nintendo of America (NOA) Special-Projects 1990–1997 The first development branch at Nintendo of America. Nintendo wanted to deliver more software based at the U.S. market following the trails of the Sega Genesis marketing blitz. Nintendo of America appointed product analysts Jeff Hutt and Don James to head the division. The group initially concentrated on sports games, which led to the NES Play Action and Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball franchises. N/A
Project Sora 2009–2012 The company was solely created to develop Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS. The president and director of the team, Masahiro Sakurai later joined forces with Bandai Namco Games to create Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U with Nintendo SPD.[19] N/A
Nintendo Research & Engineering Department
(Nintendo RED)
2003–2013 The original hardware development team responsible for all of Nintendo's portable and hand held systems. The manager Satoru Okada and most of the chief engineers originate from the old Nintendo R&D1 hardware division that created all the Game & Watch and hand held LCD cabinets.[20] On February 16, 2013, Nintendo RED was combined with the Nintendo Integrated Research & Development (or IRD) division.[21][22] Nintendo IRD
Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development
(Nintendo EAD)
2003–2015 Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development was the premier development arm at Nintendo. The group had the largest concentration of R&D, housing more than 800 engineers and designers. The division was split into seven different subdivisions, each led by a designated producer and group manager. The overseeing managers were Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. Five divisions were located in the central Kyoto R&D building under the Software Development Department, while two divisions resided in the Tokyo offices under the Tokyo Software Development Department. Nintendo EPD
Nintendo Software Planning & Development
(Nintendo SPD)
2003–2015 Nintendo Software Planning & Development was the development group that included several of the original development officers from the old software and hardware development sectors. The division was broken up into two departments; Software Planning & Development Department and Software Design & Development Department. Nintendo EPD
Nintendo Integrated Research & Development
(Nintendo IRD)
2003–2015 Nintendo Integrated Research & Development was Nintendo's hardware group that specialized in all engineering and technological aspects of Nintendo's home console and handheld development. The division also housed industrial designers who design peripherals such as the WaveBird, Wii Zapper, and Wii steering wheel. The group was originally known as Research and Development Department 3 (R&D3),[23] with the same primary functions, with the exception that manager Genyo Takeda enjoyed moonlighting by developing console and arcade games. On February 16, 2013, Nintendo IRD combined with Nintendo Research & Engineering Department (or RED), the former hardware group that specialized in all engineering and technological aspects of Nintendo's handheld development.[21][22] Nintendo PTD
Nintendo Network Business & Development
(Nintendo NBD)
2003–2015 The Nintendo Network Business & Development division, which used to be centered in peripheral and software development, was a hybrid development group with several distinct duties. The development team originated from Nintendo Research & Development 2 and was mainly responsible for ports and inhouse development for low profile hardware like the Pokémon Mini and the Super Famicom Satellaview service. The department handled most Nintendo Network programming and server maintenance inside Nintendo's in-house projects and throughout various other external Nintendo software, in cooperation with Nintendo Network Services. The department also cooperated in software development.[24] Nintendo PTD

References Edit

  1. "Nintendo opening new $141M R&D facility". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. 10 February 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  2. "Introductory Section". 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. City of Redmond. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  3. "HAL Laboratory: Company Profile". N-Sider. 2005-10-05. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  4. "Intelligent Systems now has its own building". Nintendo Everything. 2014-06-29. 
  5. "Nintendo Invests 16.5 Billion Yen in New R&D Facility". Andriasang. 2011-07-01. 
  6. "NINTENDO’S NEW DEVELOPMENT BUILDING IS NOW OPEN". My Nintendo News. 2014-06-29. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Rad, Chloi; Otero, Jose. "Nintendo Reveals Restructuring Plans". IGN. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Iwata Asks". Nintendo. Retrieved November 9, 2012. 
  9. "Iwata Asks – 1. Introduction – Iwata Asks: NERD – Nintendo". 
  10. "Iwata Asks : Wii U: Miiverse: The Producers : "Empathy Network"". 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "IGN: Monolith Software (JP)". 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  12. Ishaan (2013-02-01). "Nintendo Subsidiary, Brownie Brown, Changes Name To 1-Up Studio". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  13. "Nd Cube flatline". April 18, 2006. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  14. "Nd Cube flatline". August 22, 2000. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  15. "スペシャル対談/後編1・田尻さんと石原さんの6年". 任天堂マガジン表紙(No.23). Nintendo. July 2007. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  16. "Company." Creatures Inc. Retrieved on October 4, 2010.
  17. "Access Map." (Direct image link) Creatures Inc. Retrieved on October 4, 2010.
  18. "Iwata Asks: New Super Mario Bros. Wii Volume 2". Nintendo of America, Inc.. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  19. "Project Sora is No More". Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  20. Famitsu Online. Game Boy Micro Development Interview
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Report: Nintendo to Restructure Hardware Divisions". IGN. 2013-01-15. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Nintendo Confirms Hardware Development Reorganization". IGN. 2013-02-01. 
  23. "Investigating a Glove Interface". Iwata Asks: Punch-Out!!. Nintendo of America, Inc.. 13 September 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  24. NOM Magazine. Iwata Asks: Personal Trainer: Walking
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