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.