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Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Overview

Nintendo (任天堂), founded originally by Fusajiro Yamauchi in Kyoto, Japan as Nintendo Koppai, has been around since 1889. The company originally sold high-quality Japanese playing cards (hanafuda) and later dabbled in toys and early electronic games.

In the 1980's, Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi wanted to change its direction. After seeking advice from his toy designers, they decided to turn towards developing arcade games. After the success of Donkey Kong in 1981, they decided to stay in the market. After its continuing success, they wanted to develop their own console, one that looked nice, and one that could be bought by the Japanese consumer for $99 US. This eventually went to $199, but it still sold very well.

Nintendo went on to splitting its research and development into 4 distinct divisions, each of them were responsible for certain aspects of Nintendo's console.

Nintendo is best known for creating Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Metroid, and Pokémon series of games, all of them are million sellers.

Nintendo is also known for engineering the Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom, Super Nintendo/Super Famicom, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon mini, and Virtual Boy.

Development Divisions:
  • Nintendo EPD (merger between Nintendo EAD and Nintendo SPD in 2015, developers of most mainline Nintendo titles)
  • Nintendo PTD (merger between Nintendo IRD and Nintendo SDD in 2015, specializing in hardware development, operating system development and its development environment and network services)
  • Nintendo BDD (responsible for refining Nintendo's business model for dedicated game system business, and for furthering Nintendo's venture into development for smart devices)

Former Development Divisions:
  • Nintendo EAD (merged into Nintendo EPD in 2015, previously responsible for development of most mainline Nintendo titles)
  • Nintendo SPD (merged into Nintendo EPD in 2015)
  • Nintendo IRD (merged into Nintendo PTD in 2015)
  • Nintendo SDD (merged into Nintendo PTD in 2015)
  • Nintendo RED (original hardware development team, merged into Nintendo IRD in 2013)
  • Nintendo NBD (mainly responsible for ports and inhouse development for low profile hardware, merged into Nintendo PTD in 2015)
  • Nintendo R&D1 (responsible for hardware and software of Game Boy and Famicom Disk System, developers later moved to Nintendo EAD, SPD and RED)
  • Nintendo R&D2 (responsible for hardware technology, system operating tools and porting arcade titles to the Famicom, developers later moved to Nintendo EAD and SPD)
  • Nintendo R&D3 (originally created as a hardware division but responsible for some arcade and Famicom games such as Punch-Out!!, later merged with Nintendo IRD)
  • Nintendo R&D4 (led by Shigeru Miyamoto and responsible for creating Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, later became Nintendo EAD)

Development Subsidiaries:
  • Nintendo Software Technology Corporation (responsible for Mario vs. Donkey Kong series and more)
  • Nintendo Technology Development (responsible for video game console development and software technology)
  • Nintendo European Research and Development (responsible for various software technologies used in Nintendo systems)
  • Nintendo Network Service Database (responsible for Nintendo Network programming, cooperate with Nintendo NBD)

The following development subsidiaries are often referred to as “external resources” by the company, despite being owned by them:
  • 1-UP Studio Inc. (development support for Nintendo EPD, also responsible for Mother 3)
  • iQue, Ltd. (manufacturer of Chinese Nintendo consoles and publisher/distributor of Nintendo games in the region until 2018, simplified Chinese translations since 2016, development support for Nintendo EPD)
  • Monolith Software, Inc. (responsible for Xenoblade Chronicles series, development support for Nintendo EPD)
  • NDCube Co., Ltd. (responsible for Wii Party series and Mario Party series starting from Mario Party 9)
  • Retro Studios Inc. (responsible for Metroid Prime series and Donkey Kong Country series starting with Donkey Kong Country Returns)

Affiliate Development Companies:
AlphaDream Corporation (Mario & Luigi series) and Rare, Ltd. (responsible for Donkey Kong Country series) were originally affiliate development companies, with AlphaDream declaring bankruptcy in 2019 and Rare being purchased by Microsoft in 2002.

Publishing Subsidiaries:

Games

Journey to Silius(2020)
Good Job!(2020)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons(2020)
Breath of Fire II(2020)
Crystalis(2020)
Atlantis no Nazo(2020)
Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE: Encore(2020)
Dr Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch(2019)
Route-16: Turbo(2019)
Star Fox 2(2019)
Pokémon Shield(2019)
Pokémon Sword(2019)
Stretchers, The(2019)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020(2019)
Luigi's Mansion 3(2019)
Ring Fit Adventure(2019)
Mario Kart Tour(2019)
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, The(2019)
Daemon X Machina: Edit part for Outer "Cross Scar" (Unisex)(2019)
Daemon X Machina: Edit part for Outer "Devil Makeup" (Unisex)(2019)
Daemon X Machina: Edit part for Outer "Suture" (Unisex)(2019)
Daemon X Machina: Edit part for Outer "Animal Makeup" (Unisex)(2019)
Daemon X Machina: Edit part for Outer "Closed Eye" (Unisex)(2019)
Daemon X Machina: Outer Face Parts Set "Facial Features 1" (Male/Female)(2019)
Daemon X Machina: Edit part for Outer "Robot Makeup" (Unisex)(2019)
Daemon X Machina: Arsenal Design Change "Crusader"(2019)
Super Kirby Clash(2019)
Astral Chain(2019)
Tetris 99 (Nintendo Switch Online Bundle)(2019)
Fire Emblem: Three Houses(2019)
Dr. Mario World(2019)
Super Mario Maker 2(2019)
BoxBoy! + BoxGirl!(2019)
Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con 04 - VR Kit: Expansion Set 2 - Bird + Wind Pedal(2019)
Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con 04 - VR Kit: Starter Set + Blaster(2019)
Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con 04 - VR Kit: Expansion Set 1 - Camera + Elephant(2019)
Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con 04 - VR Kit(2019)
Yoshi's Crafted World(2019)
Tetris 99(2019)
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe(2019)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr's Journey(2018)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate(2018)
Super Mario Party(2018)
Dragalia Lost(2018)
Nintendo Classic Mini: Double Pack(2018)
Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con 03 - Vehicle Kit (2018)
WarioWare: Gold(2018)
Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer (Weekly Shōnen Jump 50th Anniversary Version)(2018)
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido(2018)
Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers(2018)

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Trivia

Awards

  • The Game Awards
    • 2014 — Developer of the Year — Won

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