Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Switch could mark the return of Nintendo R&D1 style first party games

This is something I've been thinking about for a while. We're about 2 years into the Nintendo EPD merger. Many Switch and recent 3DS games, such as Breath of the Wild, and Mario Odyssey began development under the old EAD/SPD structure. Now that the original SPD teams and developers have been fully integrated with the original EAD teams, I think Nintendo's in-house output will become a lot more interesting going forward. SPD (particularly the WarioWare and Brain Age teams) have always been ballsier than EAD, especially since much of its staff came from the old Nintendo R&D1 division, and those that didn't, adopted R&D1's original philosophies anyway from the likes of Yoshio Sakamoto and such, problem was that they didn't have any actual 3D talent or as much staff as EAD, which limited what kinds of games they can make without getting help from outside studios. Now that those developers have access to EAD's artists and programmers, we could see Nintendo R&D1's classic style return in full force on the Switch. It's actually kind of happened already with stuff like Nintendo Labo, which very much seems like a more R&D1-esque product than an EAD-style product. If that's just what they can do under EPD, imagine what else they can do.



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Wow so many acronyms and no context. It seems that you think a transition of philosophy from one acronym to another will promote more ingenuity and casual-friendly approach. Did I manage to get the main idea despite having zero information regarding these acronyms and the past history of Nintendo's design philosophy?



"It's actually kind of happened already with stuff like Nintendo Labo, which very much seems like a more R&D1-esque product than an EAD-style product. If that's just what they can do under EPD, imagine what else they can do."

That last paragraph makes me question weather or not thats a good thing at all.
Like sometimes I think nintendo is too "smart" for their own good, reinventing the wheel, when the one they have isnt broken, and the new wheel, is often worse than the old.

Like just give us a old school paper mario game?



JRPGfan said:

Like sometimes I think nintendo is too "smart" for their own good, reinventing the wheel, when the one they have isnt broken, and the new wheel, is often worse than the old.

That is so true. Don't get me wrong, I like it if Nintendo do experiments, even if some of them fail. But they have the tendency to drop or completely change things that are working well.



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Megiddo said:
Wow so many acronyms and no context. It seems that you think a transition of philosophy from one acronym to another will promote more ingenuity and casual-friendly approach. Did I manage to get the main idea despite having zero information regarding these acronyms and the past history of Nintendo's design philosophy?

My apologies, a little context. Prior to the Switch, Nintendo had two development divisions. Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development (EAD), which was headed by Shigeru Miyamoto, and focused on NIntendo's big name franchises like Mario, Zelda, Splatoon, and other "Miyamoto-like" games. And then there was Nintendo Software Planning and Development (SPD), which was headed by Shinya Takahashi. This was where Nintendo's more experimental and/or edgier games came from, and was comprised of many former members of Nintendo's old R&D1 studio. Both of which birthed Metroid, Kid Icarus, Wario (Land and Ware), Brain Age, Rhythm Heaven, the Game Boy, many external co-productions, and believe it or not, Fire Emblem and Advance Wars (Intelligent Systems was a one man team within R&D1 before becoming their own thing). Since 2015, the two divisions merged into Nintendo Entertainment Planning and Development (EPD), which is headed by Takahashi. Miyamoto stepped down after the merger, and now serves as more of a respected Fellow within Nintendo, 



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JRPGfan said:

"It's actually kind of happened already with stuff like Nintendo Labo, which very much seems like a more R&D1-esque product than an EAD-style product. If that's just what they can do under EPD, imagine what else they can do."

That last paragraph makes me question weather or not thats a good thing at all.
Like sometimes I think nintendo is too "smart" for their own good, reinventing the wheel, when the one they have isnt broken, and the new wheel, is often worse than the old.

Like just give us a old school paper mario game?

It actually wouldn't be as bad as you think. In fact, it actually means Nintendo as a developer, can be way more versatile than they've ever been before. They can do big name Nintendo games like Mario and Zelda, New mascot driven properties like Splatoon and ARMS, odd-ball experiments like Nintendo Labo and 1-2 Switch, and even potentially unique and stylish niche games that are a bit darker than Nintendo's usual fare. 



TheMisterManGuy said:
JRPGfan said:

"It's actually kind of happened already with stuff like Nintendo Labo, which very much seems like a more R&D1-esque product than an EAD-style product. If that's just what they can do under EPD, imagine what else they can do."

That last paragraph makes me question weather or not thats a good thing at all.
Like sometimes I think nintendo is too "smart" for their own good, reinventing the wheel, when the one they have isnt broken, and the new wheel, is often worse than the old.

Like just give us a old school paper mario game?

It actually wouldn't be as bad as you think. In fact, it actually means Nintendo as a developer, can be way more versatile than they've ever been before. They can do big name Nintendo games like Mario and Zelda, New mascot driven properties like Splatoon and ARMS, odd-ball experiments like Nintendo Labo and 1-2 Switch, and even potentially unique and stylish niche games that are a bit darker than Nintendo's usual fare. 

Id settle for them just doing Paper Mario right :P

Its been too long since TTYD, and Paper Mario needs a new proper installment,
no more stupid Super Paper Mario / Sticker Stars / Colour Splash.

Much rather they didnt "experiment" and instead just went back to what worked.



Thank you for the context. Even though the two divisions are now under one umbrella, wouldn't it be reasonable to think that the old hierarchy's imprints would lead to games following both development philosophies? Or are you expecting the merger to mean that the two divisions fully meld together in their output instead of simply just be grouped together for organizational structure?



Megiddo said:
Thank you for the context. Even though the two divisions are now under one umbrella, wouldn't it be reasonable to think that the old hierarchy's imprints would lead to games following both development philosophies? Or are you expecting the merger to mean that the two divisions fully meld together in their output instead of simply just be grouped together for organizational structure?

In a way, yes. While several EAD mainstays are still in EPD such as Yoshiaki Koizumi, Katsuya Eguchi, and Ejji Aounuma. EPD also inherited SPD and R&D1's figureheads such as Yoshio Sakamoto, Ko Takeuchi, and Kouichi Kawamoto. They joined the aforementioned EAD posy in high positions within the division, and are able to share their ideas and philosophies with the EAD programmers and artists they work with, as well as vice versa. So we'll get games of both styles. My main point was that the old R&D1/SPD guys now have access to EAD's legendary talent pool, allowing them to be more ambitious with their projects than was possible before, which in turn, can lead to more stylish, unique, and weird, even by Nintendo standards games. 

The biggest change in my opinion, is Miyamoto stepping down as General Manger, with Shinya Takahashi taking his place. This is a key difference because the philosophy in which these two manage developers couldn't be anymore different. Miyamoto always had very specific views on games, while he was an incredibly creative and talented designer and game maker, he also knew how to make blockbuster hits, and were able to make games that were very marketable and easy to grasp. He shared this talent with the many designers and creators he's worked with over the years. And while they give Nintendo's games a cohesive aesthetic, they also come with the side-effect of feeling slightly homogenized. Takahashi on the other hand, takes a different approach. Rather than share his philosophy with other designers, he instead focuses on cultivating each developer's unique talents and identity. The best example of this difference in philosophy, is Wii Play vs its sequel, Wii Play Motion, which EAD and SPD developed separately. While Miyamoto gathered a single team to come up with mini-games for the Wii Remote, Takahashi instead brought in a dozen or so external developers, and asked them to each make one game, in their own style. The finished games would then be complied into the final product that exists today. If you want to know more about the development of Wii Play Motion, check out the Iwata Asks interview, it's really interesting. 

Basically, while Miyamoto encouraged unity, Takahashi encourages individuality, and that key difference is what's going to shape Nintendo's first party output going forward. 



Hmmm, a modernised Wario ware? Not sure how i'd feel about that.



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