Shikamaru Ninja, a former employee of Nintendo and apparently keeps in contact with the people there, posted this information:
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.
Miyamoto going to a ‘small studio’ is his idea of retirement. Now he gets to do whatever he wants.
I see this this re-arrangement as the end of really consistent Nintendo games. Miyamoto is disliked by the developers there because he ‘stifles their creativity’. Miyamoto has to tell the Mario team “no story” (and they put in story anyway such as with Super Mario Galaxy). He also says, “No movies,” which they keep insisting.
Some of us have been playing games the same length of time as Miyamoto has been making them. Miyamoto’s games always have extremely excellent control and are very ‘gameplay orientated’. Miyamoto does not do movie games or story games. Aside from some 3d obsession, Miyamoto is highly consistent in his quality.
Keep in mind that Shikamaru Ninja thinks highly of Sakamoto and thought Metroid: Other M was the second coming. Doing things differently from Miyamoto means STORY GAMES and CUTSCENE GAMES. You have to laugh at the people thinking this restructuring means a utopia of ‘new IP’ games is going to be unleashed. With a HD console? I don’t think so.
All the crappy Japanese game developer tendencies that Miyamoto kept in check are going to come bursting out. Nintendo fans, run away now so at least you’ll have fond memories.