Quantcast
Radical Idea: Nintendo EPD spining-off internal development teams

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Radical Idea: Nintendo EPD spining-off internal development teams

All First party Nintendo software production is run through the Entertainment Planning and Development division, led by Shinya Takahashi. In addition to having its own internal production groups, EPD also has teams dedicated to oversight of Nintendo's external developers and games such as MonolithSoft, Intelligent Systems, Camelot, HAL Laboratory, Retro Studios, Next Level Games, among others. However, what if we could take it a step further. What if, Nintendo decided to do yet another restructuring, this time it's a bit radical. The bulk of the changes going to EPD, all of its internal software groups would be spun-off into their own independent development subsidiaries. Each with its own name, management, and development culture. Shinya Takahashi will still oversee all software development, and Producers who mainly oversee outside companies like Hitoshi Yamagami and Kensuke Tanabe will continue their roles in new positions. Under this new structure, EPD would strictly be an oversight department, possible with a new name as well, rather than a development department with oversight duties. It'd be similar to how Sony Interactive's Worldwide Studios operates, or the experiment Sega tried during the Dreamcast-era, where they split-off all their in-house development departments, into independent subsidiaries.

This probably won't happen... Ever. But it'd be interesting to see Nintendo take a big risk like that.



Around the Network

That would be highly costly. Let's not forget they just completed a new HQ a couple of years ago for the primary purpose of consolidating their internal teams.



Massimus - "Trump already has democrat support."

Why? What would be the point? You don’t think the system Nintendo currently uses is producing quality work?



TheMisterManGuy said:

This probably won't happen... Ever. But it'd be interesting to see Nintendo take a big risk like that.

I'm failing to see how this benefits Nintendo in any meaningful way.



TheMisterManGuy said:

All First party Nintendo software production is run through the Entertainment Planning and Development division, led by Shinya Takahashi. In addition to having its own internal production groups, EPD also has teams dedicated to oversight of Nintendo's external developers and games such as MonolithSoft, Intelligent Systems, Camelot, HAL Laboratory, Retro Studios, Next Level Games, among others. However, what if we could take it a step further. What if, Nintendo decided to do yet another restructuring, this time it's a bit radical. The bulk of the changes going to EPD, all of its internal software groups would be spun-off into their own independent development subsidiaries. Each with its own name, management, and development culture. Shinya Takahashi will still oversee all software development, and Producers who mainly oversee outside companies like Hitoshi Yamagami and Kensuke Tanabe will continue their roles in new positions. Under this new structure, EPD would strictly be an oversight department, possible with a new name as well, rather than a development department with oversight duties. It'd be similar to how Sony Interactive's Worldwide Studios operates, or the experiment Sega tried during the Dreamcast-era, where they split-off all their in-house development departments, into independent subsidiaries.

This probably won't happen... Ever. But it'd be interesting to see Nintendo take a big risk like that.

That is basically the system that was in place before Nintendo merged everything into EPD. They had 5 different EAD software group, each dedicated to specific IPs. 

I believe Nintendo has felt the need to pool all resources into one single development beast, as the average yield of all EAD individual teams was pretty poor at that time. It's a creative way to speed up output and increase efficiency, as teams are able to share expertise, standardize proprietary engine development and dispatch human resources in a cost-effective procedure. 

I do think this was one of the smartest moves by Nintendo, as the ouput has never been as good as today, quality and quantity-wise.



Around the Network

But why, though?



The only benefit I can see to this is the same reason SEGA did it; to allow each development team to define their own personal styles. Each of SEGA's development team had their unique flavor. They produced very different things.



GuyDuke said:

That is basically the system that was in place before Nintendo merged everything into EPD. They had 5 different EAD software group, each dedicated to specific IPs. 

I believe Nintendo has felt the need to pool all resources into one single development beast, as the average yield of all EAD individual teams was pretty poor at that time. It's a creative way to speed up output and increase efficiency, as teams are able to share expertise, standardize proprietary engine development and dispatch human resources in a cost-effective procedure. 

I do think this was one of the smartest moves by Nintendo, as the ouput has never been as good as today, quality and quantity-wise.

That's actually how EPD is still set up. There's 11 individual production groups, some mainly work with outside companies, some work on their own games internally, and some do a mix of both. What changed was that Software Planning and Development was merged with Entertainment Analysis and Development, thus creating EPD. The structure I'm proposing, is the internal software R&D groups would be split off into their own autonomous studios.

Last edited by TheMisterManGuy - on 19 September 2019

The only benefit to this is console wars "Studio" lists. That's it honestly.

Sony and Microsoft might have a structure like this, but that's because those studios are technically not "internal" in the sense that they're acquisitions owned by the parent company. They already belonged to a different location.



GuyDuke said:
TheMisterManGuy said:

All First party Nintendo software production is run through the Entertainment Planning and Development division, led by Shinya Takahashi. In addition to having its own internal production groups, EPD also has teams dedicated to oversight of Nintendo's external developers and games such as MonolithSoft, Intelligent Systems, Camelot, HAL Laboratory, Retro Studios, Next Level Games, among others. However, what if we could take it a step further. What if, Nintendo decided to do yet another restructuring, this time it's a bit radical. The bulk of the changes going to EPD, all of its internal software groups would be spun-off into their own independent development subsidiaries. Each with its own name, management, and development culture. Shinya Takahashi will still oversee all software development, and Producers who mainly oversee outside companies like Hitoshi Yamagami and Kensuke Tanabe will continue their roles in new positions. Under this new structure, EPD would strictly be an oversight department, possible with a new name as well, rather than a development department with oversight duties. It'd be similar to how Sony Interactive's Worldwide Studios operates, or the experiment Sega tried during the Dreamcast-era, where they split-off all their in-house development departments, into independent subsidiaries.

This probably won't happen... Ever. But it'd be interesting to see Nintendo take a big risk like that.

That is basically the system that was in place before Nintendo merged everything into EPD. They had 5 different EAD software group, each dedicated to specific IPs. 

I believe Nintendo has felt the need to pool all resources into one single development beast, as the average yield of all EAD individual teams was pretty poor at that time. It's a creative way to speed up output and increase efficiency, as teams are able to share expertise, standardize proprietary engine development and dispatch human resources in a cost-effective procedure. 

I do think this was one of the smartest moves by Nintendo, as the ouput has never been as good as today, quality and quantity-wise.

That is not true. Nintendo EPD output lately has been abysmal. What have they made for the Switch? BOTW which was just a Wii U game delayed for their next system. Mario Odyssey, Mario Maker 2 and Splatoon 2. Those are the only well received ones barring those they’ve made Arms, 1-2 Switch, Labo. That’s it. 

With 11 teams and given how small scale most of Nintendo’s games are we should expect a lot more. I mean these guys aren’t making huge games with cutting edge visuals and detail that they need 3-5 years to put out a game.