Satoru Iwata: Nintendo 2013 R&D Preview [Large Scale Restructure, New Miyamoto Team]

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
#1
Satoru Iwata has big plans for Nintendo Company Limited in 2013. Iwata, who architectured the big restructure of 2002 where he dissolved the legendary Nintendo R&D1 and Nintendo R&D2 to strengthen Nintendo EAD and also create Nintendo SPD. Iwata has long admitted several deficits in the company he wanted to address, including expanding the network team of Nintendo, and initiating another huge rehaul of the software development division.

By December 2012, Iwata hopes to put place a new mysterious restructure of R&D which revolves around a new Kyoto R&D building hoping to exlusively house over 1200 developers. Previously, Nintendo has its R&D split between its main Central Building and its old Kyoto Research Institute Building. It is very unclear how the third R&D building will change the dynamic in Kyoto, but Iwata has mentioned wanting to support expansion as well as efficiency.

Additionally, Nintendo has continued to expand R&D operations in its Tokyo sector. Tokyo being the largest city of Japan by far, has created a window where several veteran developers from Square, SEGA, Koei, Epoch, and Konami can easily transition to join the EAD Tokyo development section.

But alongside all the expansion in Kyoto and Tokyo, comes the biggest news that Shigeru Miyamoto is expected to leave the EAD Division most likely by December 2012. Miyamoto has expressed concern that his presence is over shining all the new producers and directors creating content in the EAD Division (the largest of two gaming divisions at Nintendo). Miyamoto has vocalized his intent of stepping aside as General Manager of EAD to perhaps to create a third development sector where he would work with younger developers and focus on smaller resource, and faster to develop games.

2013 Expected Iwata Changes
+ Major shift in Kyoto development sources involving 3 R&D buildings
+ Shigeru Miyamoto stepping down as EAD General Manager
+ Takash Tezuka becoming new EAD General Manager
+ New Groups / New Producers announced for EAD Kyoto / SPD Kyoto
+ EAD Tokyo Expansion / Masahiro Sakurai Possibly Joining EAD Tokyo
+ New Division lead by Miyamoto with younger staff focused on smaller scale games
+ Miyamoto's Departure Inspiring New IPs for the EAD Kyoto Division

Source: Guardian UK. Nikkei. Wired.
 
#3
Three R&D buildings sounds like they're serious. Anyone know how many the other companies have? Sony and Microsoft ones specifically tailored for consoles.
 
#5
Miyamoto has vocalized his intent of stepping aside as General Manager of EAD to perhaps to create a third development sector where he would work with younger developer and focus on smaller resource, and faster to develop games.
They make it sound as though they're going to develop for smartphones.
 

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
#6
Three R&D buildings sounds like they're serious. Anyone know how many the other companies have? Sony and Microsoft ones specifically tailored for consoles.
That's three R&D buildings iin Kyoto. Central Building, Kyoto Research Institute, and new Building. Then there is also the Tokyo Building. Then there is also several manufacturing plants, one which, Sapporo, was once rumored to be a new EAD branch before it just became the second Nd Cube office.
 
#8
All of that sounds like great news.

Tezuka should do well as Miyamoto's replacement. Interesting that they may have managed to rope Sakurai back in officially.
 
#9
+ EAD Tokyo Expansion / Masahiro Sakurai Possibly Joining EAD Tokyo
Oh my.

Great news in overall. Can't wait to see what Miyamoto and the younger devs accomplish in the future, not to mention what EAD Kyoto comes up with without his influence.

Mighty intriguing, that comment about veteran 3rd party developers having easy access to EAD Tokyo's development section.
 
#14
Sounds like Nintendo is going to make some necessary changes and take a more aggressive approach in certain regards when it comes to future software and hardware development. Interesting to see what comes of all this.
 
#23
All of these changes sound very exciting. I cannot wait to see how the new structure will bring us more innovative and breakthroughs in video gaming.
 
#26
It's good to see Nintendo changing things up.

It was becoming apparent that their old structure was being strained, so hopefully their new one lets them have a lot more output, both in terms of volume and variety.
 
#27
These are all excellent things to do leading up to a new hardware generation. Might have been nice to see this starting up pre-Wii U, but this might be the first time their internal schedule could accommodate the restructure.
 
#28
well, hopefully this lets them revive F-Zero. the first problem was not having a team to make one after FZX and thus, the outsourcing came.
 
#29
Glad that Tezuka is taking Miyamoto's spot. The guy knows good games, and he directed arguably the greatest games in the mario and zelda franchises.
 
#30
Here's hoping the next new retail IP is better than Steel Diver lol. If you actually look at what each studio is working on, after next month, the only games in development from Nintendo are Wii Fit U and Pikmin 3 meaning that we are probably going to get a lot of new games announced next year, and thats not even factoring in their other studios. 2013 might just be a really good year for gaming.
 
#31
I'll be interested to see who steps in on these new EAD/SPD teams and who is leading them. Really good time to do this though as they head into the next generation.
 
#39
I hope the transitions work out well. They could use some new IPs. And that includes what Miyamoto might churn out through most likely eShop. Thanks for the info Shikamaru.
 
#44
Definitely looking forward to hearing new information about this big shakeup. Naturally I imagine investors are going to get nervous that Miyamoto plans to step down from his Godlike role in the company. I imagine he is looking to create something fresh and new rather than just tell other people how to not screw up sequels to games he created (/Not allow them to innovate).

2013 is going to fucking rock...
 
#45
The news that excites me the most is Miyamoto finally getting back to directing games instead of being a manager.
A man of Miyamotos caliber working with a new generation of designers on smaller games without all the baggage is amazing news, and must be a dream come true for both Miyamoto and the designers who were working under him before.
 
#46
Hmm.

Wouldn't Smash be being developed in Tokyo? If I remember my Game Center CX well enough, that's where Namco's headquarters are.

EAD Tokyo seems like a decent place for him to set up offices in the meantime.
 
#48
Holy shit. These sound like really awesome changes. Hopefully they create a ton more teams to fill the usual software droughts Nintendo have become known for.
 
#50
That's awesome news. Nintendo's preparing to flex its 1st party muscle for a new generation! I respect Miyamoto's decision to step down from his current position as to not overshadow or potentially stunt the growth of other developers. Given Miyamoto's celebrity status within the the walls of Nintendo and in the industry, it's good to see that he has kept his ego in check. You're not off the hook, Miyamoto! You still need to stay relevant in the next-generation and wow us with some future projects regardless of whether they are big or small.