Lead Designer and Assistant Designer both leave NST (Nintendo)

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
#1
What was once posited to be the beacon of Nintendo's first-party development in the US, has continued its trend of turnovers as Stephen Mortimer (lead designer) and Paul Kranich have both departed from the Redmond based in-house development group. Just months previously, Hirokazu Yasuhara (famous from Sonic Team) also departed from the development studio, after pretty much accomplishing nothing.

The developer was at a high point with nearly a 100 personnel recruited from their Digipen affiliated university and talent from Nintendo of Japan and other high profile companies. Unfortunately as the budgets grew and the Japanese production staff clashed, things stopped progressing (Project Hammer), and the big name developers started leaving. Since then they've been stuck in development hell, and have experienced consistent turnover with their employees.

Nintendo is currently hiring designers and programmers for their NST group. Hopefully not for another freeware Amiibo game.
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Pie and Beans

Look for me on the local news, I'll be the guy arrested for trying to burn down a Nintendo exec's house.
Apr 23, 2010
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#10
Just months previously, Hirokazu Yasuhara (famous from Sonic Team) also departed from the development studio, after pretty much accomplishing nothing.
Will somebody PLEASE make use of this incredible level designers talent. Watching him hop around for the last 10 years into dead end positions has been painful.
 
May 29, 2007
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#25
According to some folks I talked to, they've also been doing support for bigger titles developed by EAD and SPD (or they were until EPD became a thing). Probably felt crummy being in a support studio only given autonomy for tiny downloadable titles.
 
Feb 7, 2015
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#27
Without any deeper knowledge on the internal structure/functions of NST I allow myself to claim that this part of Nintendo is painfully inefficient and a money sink. Better invest some funds into proper western studios than wasting it wirh NST...
 
Sep 2, 2014
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#29
Its so weird to watch this studio flounder while Retro expands, NLG gets top billing for IP, Garage expands in Japan, and the general "new blood" motif spreads. What the hell is going on with NST and Nintendo?
 

Aostia

El Capitan Todd
Sep 2, 2011
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#31
Its so weird to watch this studio flounder while Retro expands, NLG gets top billing for IP, Garage expands in Japan, and the general "new blood" motif spreads. What the hell is going on with NST and Nintendo?
Their management of Hammer has been dreadful I suppose
 
Sep 2, 2014
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#32
Their management of Hammer has been dreadful I suppose
If its a managerial position then remove them and reboot the studio with its staff. Its filled with talented people and would give Nintendo more studios to work with. Why just let it sit around for a decade?
 

jett

D-Member
Jun 6, 2004
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#38
Wave Race Blue Storm.
I didn't say they never made anything good. Blue Storm is not bad, but it's not the original, which is a classic and one of my favorite games of all-time.

Maybe Nintendo just never gave them a chance in their post-Gamecube world.
 

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
#40
I didn't say they never made anything good. Blue Storm is not bad, but it's not the original, which is a classic and one of my favorite games of all-time. Maybe Nintendo just never gave them a chance in their post-Gamecube world.
I'm an old school N64 EAD and Sakamoto team fan above all, so I do love 1080 and Wave Race on the N64. With that said, I think both GameCube games from NST are fantastic. Then again, it seems like every Nintendo racer ever made is always good. Maybe it's the ethos of the company that pours of the designers and programmers.

I think Metroid Prime Hunters may have been the apex. I know that people hate the concept, blame the NCL producers for that. But the actual mechanics, visuals, and music were fantastic.
 
Feb 7, 2005
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#42
I didn't say they never made anything good. Blue Storm is not bad, but it's not the original, which is a classic and one of my favorite games of all-time.

Maybe Nintendo just never gave them a chance in their post-Gamecube world.
Well, the source of their current situation is that they did give them a chance, but NST managed to bungle it, which then had NCL react (overreact?) the way that they did.

The thing that's always been weird about NST for me is that they've never been the kind of studio known for their own work, and by that, I mean that they've never had a game that has any kind of personal stamp on it. And that's weird when you have other studios at Nintendo that manage to do that with some long-established franchises. They've arguably never made an outright bad game, but too often am I left with the feeling of being underwhelmed, even if it's an otherwise decent-to-good game.
 

BD1

Banned
Nov 27, 2011
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#43
Now that Reggie is an Executive Officer, NCL should say "Ok, NOA, here is a budget. Make a game for your market" and see what happens.
 
Feb 7, 2005
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#49
Ah really? I had no idea Monster Games was working on a racer again. :D
Any news on it? Anything at all?
It's a NASCAR title. They apparently have a multi-year deal with the rights holder, so it might be a while before they work with Nintendo again, as they are a pretty damn small studio.
 
May 15, 2005
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#50
^ Aw Fucking hell. :(
Thought we'd get another arcade racer from them.
Don't mind it being on another system. Was just wishing for something crazy and fun. Damnit.

edit: Just watched some gameplay. It looks even worse than I imagined. Such a waste of talent. :'(