List of Nintendo development teams

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List of Nintendo development teams
Number of locations
Japan, United States, Europe
ProductsVarious video game titles
Various game consoles
ServicesNintendo Network
DivisionsEntertainment Planning & Development
Platform Technology Development
Subsidiaries1-Up Studio
Monolith Soft
Nintendo European Research & Development
Nintendo Network Service Database
Nintendo Software Technology
Retro Studios

Nintendo is one of the world's biggest video game development companies, having created several successful franchises. Because of its storied history, the developer employs a methodical system of software and hardware development that is mainly centralized within its offices in Kyoto and Tokyo, in cooperation with its division Nintendo of America in Redmond, Washington. The company also owns several worldwide subsidiaries and funds partner affiliates that contribute technology and software for the Nintendo brand.[1][2]

Main offices[edit]

Nintendo Central Office
Nintendo Tokyo Office

Nintendo (NCL) has a central office located in Minami-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan (34°58′11.89″N 135°45′22.33″E / 34.9699694°N 135.7562028°E / 34.9699694; 135.7562028) and a nearby building, its pre-2000 headquarters, now serving as a research and development building, located in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan (34°58′29.00″N 135°46′10.48″E / 34.9747222°N 135.7695778°E / 34.9747222; 135.7695778). Its original Kyoto headquarters can still be found at (34°59′30.03″N 135°45′58.66″E / 34.9916750°N 135.7662944°E / 34.9916750; 135.7662944). Additionally, Nintendo has a third operation in Tokyo, Japan, where research and development and manufacturing are conducted. All three offices are interconnected and have video conferences often for communication and presentation purposes.

In 2009, it was revealed that Nintendo was expanding both its Redmond and Kyoto offices. The new office building complex of Nintendo of America in Redmond is 275,250 square feet (25,572 m2) and would expand its localization, development, debugging, production, and clerical teams. Nintendo announced the purchase of a 40,000 square-meter lot that would house an all new research and development (R&D) office that would make it easier for the company's two other Kyoto R&D offices to collaborate as well as expand the total work force on new upcoming console development and new software for current and future hardware.[3][4]

Nintendo owns several buildings throughout Kyoto and Tokyo housing subsidiary and affiliated development studios. One of the more famous buildings is the Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo building – previously known as the Nintendo Tokyo Prefecture Building – now jokingly called The Pokémon Building, accommodates the complete Pokémon family which includes The Pokémon Company, Creatures Inc., and Genius Sonority.[5]


Nintendo Research & Development Buildings
Name Location Developer(s)
Nintendo Central Office Kyoto, Japan formerly Nintendo EAD, Systems Research & Development (SRD)
Nintendo Kyoto Research Institute Kyoto, Japan formerly Nintendo SPD, Intelligent Systems (moved into a new building next near Nintendo Central Offices in 2013),[6] currently Mario Club
Nintendo Kyoto Development Complex Kyoto, Japan Was originally scheduled to open at the end of December 2013,[7] but did not until June 2014.[8] Currently houses the Entertainment Planning & Development (EPD), Platform Technology Development (PTD), and Business Development divisions
Nintendo Tokyo Office Tokyo, Japan A new building with the companies and employees from four different locations on Tokyo now reunited in one place to boost efficiency. Formerly had HAL Laboratory and Warpstar, (Warpstar and the development center of Hal Laboratory were moved to the Hal's main office building also at Tokyo in 2003) currently has Nintendo EPD Tokyo, The Pokémon Company, Creatures Inc., Genius Sonority.[9][10]
Nintendo of America Headquarters Redmond, Washington, US Nintendo Software Technology (NST)
Nintendo Technology Development Seattle, Washington, US Nintendo Technology Development (NTD)
Nintendo European Research & Development Paris, France Nintendo European Research & Development (NERD)

Former offices[edit]

  • Nintendo Sapporo Office – Sapporo, Japan – closed
  • Nintendo Fukuoka Office – Fukuoka, Japan – closed
  • Nintendo Tokyo Prefecture Building - Tokyo, Japan - closed
  • Nintendo Tokyo Office (previous) - Tokyo, Japan - closed


Entertainment Planning & Development (EPD)[edit]

The Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development division was created on September 16, 2015, as part of a company-wide organizational restructure that took place under Nintendo's then newly appointed president, Tatsumi Kimishima. The division was created after the merger of two of its largest divisions, Entertainment Analysis & Development (EAD) and Software Planning & Development (SPD).[11]

The division assumed both of its predecessors' roles, focusing on the development of games and software for Nintendo platforms and mobile devices; it also manages and licenses the company's various intellectual properties. Shinya Takahashi, formerly General Manager of the SPD division, serves as General Manager of the new division, as well as supervisor for both the Business Development and Development Administration & Support divisions. Katsuya Eguchi and Yoshiaki Koizumi maintained their positions as Deputy General Managers of EPD, which they previously held under EAD.[11]

Platform Technology Development (PTD)[edit]

The Nintendo Platform Technology Development division was created on September 16, 2015, as part of a company-wide organizational restructure that took place under Nintendo's then newly appointed president, Tatsumi Kimishima. The division was created after the merger of two Nintendo's divisions, the Integrated Research & Development (IRD), which specialized in hardware development, and System Development (SDD), which specialized operating system development and its development environment and network services.[11]

The new division assumed both of its predecessors' roles. Ko Shiota, formerly Deputy General Manager of the IRD division, serves as the General Manager (GM), while Takeshi Shimada, formerly Deputy General Manager of the Software Environment Development Department of the SDD division, serves the same role.[11]

Business Development Division (BDD)[edit]

The Nintendo Business Development division was formed following Nintendo's foray into software development for smart devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. They are responsible for refining Nintendo's business model for dedicated game system business, and for furthering Nintendo's venture into development for smart devices.


Although most of the research and development is done in Japan, there are also R&D facilities in the United States, Europe and China.

"I didn't really go into this today, but Nintendo European Research and Development SAS France (NERD) helped us with our video player and Nintendo Software Technology (NST) helped with WebKit's JavaScript JIT, so this new Internet Browser really came about with help from so many different people outside the company."

— Tetsuya Sasaki, Software Development & Design Department[12]

Name Location Works
Nintendo Software Technology (NST) Redmond, Washington, USA Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, Wii Street U and other games and apps, helped with WebKit's JavaScript JIT[12]
Nintendo Technology Development (NTD) Redmond, Washington, USA Video game console development and software technology.
Nintendo European Research & Development (NERD) Paris, France Formerly known as Mobiclip, doing various software technologies such as video compression and middleware, including the video player of the Wii U Internet Browser.[12]
Nintendo Network Service Database (NSD) Kyoto, Japan Nintendo Network programming and server maintenance. Co-operates with the Nintendo Network Business & Development (NBD) division.

Nintendo Software Technology (NST)[edit]

Nintendo Software Technology Corp. (or NST) is an American video game developer located inside of Nintendo of America's headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The studio was created by Nintendo as a first-party developer to create games for the North American market, though their games have also been released in other territories such as Europe and Japan, exclusively for Nintendo consoles.

The studio's best known projects include the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, Crosswords series, Wii Street U and other video games and applications.

Nintendo Technology Development (NTD)[edit]

Nintendo Technology Development Inc. (or NTD) is a Washington-based hardware focused Research & Development group for Nintendo. The group focuses on the creation of various software technologies, hardware tools, and development kits for first-party use and third-party licensing across Nintendo platforms, in collaboration with the Nintendo Integrated Research & Development division led by Genyo Takeda. Several side projects and unreleased prototypes are commonly linked to this Washington based subsidiary. NTD is also responsible for some low-level coding.

Nintendo European Research & Development (NERD)[edit]

Nintendo European Research & Development SAS (or NERD), formerly known as Mobiclip, is a Nintendo subsidiary, located in Paris, France. The team currently focuses on developing software technologies, such as video compression, and middleware for Nintendo platforms.[13] While an independent company, Mobiclip was responsible for licensing video codecs for Sony Pictures Digital, Fisher-Price and Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Wii and Nintendo 3DS.

The team has recently been involved in the development of the Wii U Chat application, in co-operation with Vidyo.

Nintendo Network Service Database (NSD)[edit]

Nintendo Network Service Database Inc. (or NSD) was formerly known as Wii no Ma. Originally created by Nintendo to provide digital entertainment as a service for Wii owners, the company has since been renamed.[14]

Currently, Nintendo Network Services handles all Nintendo Network operations, including programming and server maintenance inside Nintendo's in-house projects through the Nintendo Network Business & Development division and throughout various other external online software infrastructures. Lastly, the company also cooperates in developing third party online infrastructures compatible with Nintendo consoles and Nintendo Network.

Most external first-party software development is done in Japan, since the only overseas subsidiary is Retro Studios in the United States. Although these studios are all subsidiaries of Nintendo, they are often referred to as external resources when being involved in joint development processes with Nintendo's internal developers by the Nintendo Software Planning & Development division.

Name Location Works
1-Up Studio Tokyo, Japan Magical Vacation series, Mother 3 and A Kappa's Trail. Currently, a development support studio for Nintendo EPD.[15]
iQue Suzhou, China In the past a manufacturer of chinese versions of Nintendo consoles but since 2018 it stopped to do it. Since 2016 it translates/localize Nintendo games to simplified chinese and since 2019 is a development support studio, hiring programmers and testers to support Nintendo EPD games.
Monolith Soft Tokyo, Japan Xenoblade Chronicles series and Baten Kaitos series and Disaster: Day of Crisis.[16]
Kyoto, Japan Development support studio for Monolith Soft Tokyo and Nintendo EPD. Development support for Splatoon 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon, Pikmin 3 and other Nintendo EPD games, along support for Monolith Soft Tokyo games like Xenoblade Chronicles series.[17]
NDcube Tokyo, Japan Wii Party and Mario Party series.
Retro Studios Austin, Texas, USA Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country series.

1-Up Studio[edit]

1-Up Studio Co., Ltd. (1‐UPスタジオ株式会社), formerly Brownie Brown Inc. (ブラウニーブラウン, Buraunī Buraun), is a Japanese Nintendo-funded and owned video game development studio opened on June 30, 2000 and based in Tokyo, Japan. On February 1, 2013, Brownie Brown announced on their official website that due to their recent co-development efforts with Nintendo, Brownie Brown are undergoing a change in internal structure, which includes changing the name of their company to 1-Up Studio.[18]

The studio is known for the development of the Magical Vacation series, Mother 3 and A Kappa's Trail. Since 2013, it stands as a development support studio for Nintendo EPD.


Originally a Chinese joint venture between its founder, Wei Yen, and Nintendo, manufactures and distributes official Nintendo consoles and games for the mainland Chinese market, under the iQue brand. The product lineup for the Chinese market is considerably different from that for other markets. For example, Nintendo's only console in China is the iQue Player, a modified version of the Nintendo 64. In 2013, the company became a fully owned subsidiary of Nintendo.[19][20]

It became a translation and localization company for simplified chinese since 2016 for Nintendo games. In 2018, it stopped to be a manufacturer for consoles at China and in 2019 began to hire programmers and testers to transition to be a supporting development company for Nintendo EPD.[21]

Monolith Soft[edit]

Monolith Soft, Inc. (株式会社モノリスソフト, Kabushiki-Gaisha Monorisu Sofuto) is a Japanese video game development company that has created video games for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, Nintendo DS, and cell phones. The company currently has two main studios, its Tokyo Software Development Studio, which is housed in the company's headquarters, and the recently opened Kyoto Software Development Studio. The company was previously owned by Bandai Namco, until 2007 when Bandai Namco transferred 80% of its 96% stake to Nintendo. At a later date the remaining 16% was sold so the company is currently 96% Nintendo owned and 4% third parties. A majority of Monolith Soft's staff are former employees of Square Co., who transferred to the new company shortly after the creation of Chrono Cross. They were previously involved with the creation of Xenogears, from which the Xenosaga series is derived.

Monolith Soft's Tokyo Software Development Studio is usually associated with the Xeno series, the Baten Kaitos series and Disaster: Day of Crisis,[16] while its Kyoto Software Development Studio is currently a development co-operation studio.[citation needed]


NDcube Co., Ltd. (エヌディーキューブ株式会社 Enudī Kyūbu Kabushiki Gaisha) is a Nintendo subsidiary and Japanese video game developer based in Japan with offices in Tokyo and Sapporo. The company was founded on March 1, 2000, through a joint venture between Nintendo and advertising firm Dentsu, hence the Nd in the name.[22] In 2010, Nintendo decided to buy out 96% of the shares, with ad partner Dentsu stepping aside.[23] Since NDcube was founded, they have kept a low profile, working on various Japanese GameCube and Game Boy Advance titles. Two notable games that have reached western shores are F-Zero: Maximum Velocity and Tube Slider. As seen in the credits for Mario Party 9, NDcube indeed houses many ex-Hudson Soft employees, some vary between folks who have focused primarily on many other entries in the Mario Party series.

The company is currently best known for the Wii Party series and for taking over the Mario Party series, after Hudson Soft was absorbed into Konami.

Retro Studios[edit]

Retro Studios, Inc. is an American video game developer based in Austin, Texas. The company was founded in October 1998 by the video game veteran Jeff Spangenberg after leaving Acclaim Entertainment, as an independent studio making games exclusively for Nintendo. The studio started with four Nintendo GameCube projects which had a chaotic and unproductive development, and did not impress Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto, but he suggested they create a new game in the Metroid series. Eventually the four games in development were cancelled so Retro could focus only on Metroid Prime, which was released for the GameCube in 2002, the same year Nintendo acquired the studio completely by purchasing the majority of Spangenberg's holding stock.

Retro Studios is now one of the most renowned Nintendo first-party developers thanks to the development of the Metroid Prime series, assisting in Mario Kart 7, and for reviving the Donkey Kong Country series.

Affiliate companies[edit]

Major and minor affiliate development companies, per contract or under significant owned stake
Name Works
Ambrella Pokémon Rumble series, Hey You, Pikachu!, My Pokémon Ranch, Pokémon Dash, Pokémon Channel
Camelot Software Planning Golden Sun series, Mario Tennis series, Mario Golf series, Mario Sports Superstars
Creatures Mother series, Pokémon Trading Card Game, Pokémon Ranger series, PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure, Detective Pikachu
Cygames Dragalia Lost
DeNA Service infrastructure, Mynintendo integration and development cooperation on mobile applications of the partnership with Nintendo like Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Mario Kart Tour
Game Freak Mainline Pokémon series, HarmoKnight, Drill Dozer, Mario & Wario.
Genius Sonority Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, Pokémon Trozei!, Pokémon Battle Revolution, Pokémon Shuffle
Good-Feel Wario Land: Shake It!, Kirby's Epic Yarn (with HAL Laboratory), Yoshi's Woolly World, Yoshi's Crafted World
Grezzo The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, Ever Oasis, Luigi's Mansion (3DS), The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)
HAL Laboratory Kirby series, BoxBoy! series, Picross 3D, Pokémon Stadium series, Super Smash Bros series (Until Brawl), Mother series.
indieszero Sennen Kazoku, Electroplankton, Personal Trainer: Cooking, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido.
Intelligent Systems Fire Emblem series, Wars series, Paper Mario series, Pushmo series, WarioWare series.
Next Level Games Mario Strikers series (Mario Football in PAL regions), Punch-Out!!, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Luigi's Mansion 3
Sora Ltd. Kid Icarus: Uprising (with Project Sora), Meteos (with Q Entertainment and Bandai) and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (with HAL Laboratory and Game Arts), Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (with Bandai Namco Studios) and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (with Bandai Namco Studios)
Vanpool Dillon's Rolling Western series, Tingle series, Paper Mario: Sticker Star (with Intelligent Systems), Team Kirby Clash Deluxe (co developed with HAL laboratory)
Vitei Steel Diver series (with Nintendo EAD), Tank Troopers (with Nintendo EAD).


Logo used since 1983

Former divisions and subsidiaries[edit]

Name Active Additional details Fate
Nintendo Research & Development 1
(Nintendo R&D1)
1970–2002 The original game development team at Nintendo. Originally created in the 1970s by Hiroshi Imanishi as the games division of Nintendo Co., Ltd. Gunpei Yokoi was the original engineer and inventor designated to create electronic toys and arcade coin-operated software. With the conception of the Famicom (known as the Nintendo Entertainment System in the West), the Virtual Boy, and Game Boy, the group was reassigned to concentrate on developing the premier software for console and portable gaming straying away from its original toys, Game & Watch, and arcade roots. Nintendo EAD
Nintendo SPD
Nintendo RED
Nintendo Research & Development 2
(Nintendo R&D2)
1972–2002 This group mainly concentrated on hardware technology and system operating tools. Masayuki Uemura was hired away from Sharp Corporation where he specialized in solar cell technology. The solar technology fueled the original bean gun games which Nintendo introduced to huge success. The team would go on to develop several peripherals and eventually even some video game software. The team generally assisted Nintendo R&D1 and Nintendo R&D3 with their arcade games, but it also became the first team to specialize in software ports at Nintendo with the task of porting all the original arcade titles like Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and Popeye to the Famicom.[24] Nintendo EAD
Nintendo SPD
Nintendo Research & Development 3
(Nintendo R&D3)
1974–1996 Originally created as a hardware engineering division, Genyo Takeda managed to diversify his group and create software on the same arcade boards being designed for Gunpei Yokoi's R&D1 team. After developing the arcade hits like Sheriff, Punch-Out!! and Arm Wrestling, the team was involved in developing a variety of unique software for the NES that was mainly aimed at the Western market, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and StarTropics to name a few. The team also helped create bank switching and the MMC chips in the NES cartridges. Nintendo IRD
Nintendo Research & Development 4
(Nintendo R&D4)
1983–1989 In 1984, Hiroshi Yamauchi, former president of Nintendo, rewarded Shigeru Miyamoto his own development studio after proving himself his ability to consistently produce both critically acclaimed and successful video games with the original Donkey Kong and Mario Bros.. Although the team didn't have as many resources as Nintendo R&D1, R&D4 also focused on developing NES games. It ended up creating Nintendo's two most enduring franchises: Mario and The Legend of Zelda. During the development of the Super NES, Nintendo R&D4 was renamed Nintendo EAD. Today Nintendo EAD is the largest game development division of Nintendo. Takashi Tezuka joined Shigeru Miyamoto in developing R&D4 games, with music composition being handled by Koji Kondo. To this day, the three of them still work together in most Nintendo EAD projects. Nintendo EAD
Nintendo Tokyo R&D Products 1987–1989 In the early 1980s, Nintendo planned to expand software R&D into the Tokyo manufacturing branch building to operate alongside its overcrowded Kyoto headquarters. The initial plans became delayed and shortly after the development of the original Mother, the group ceased development. N/A
Nintendo of America (NOA) Special-Projects 1990–1997 The first development branch at Nintendo of America. Nintendo wanted to deliver more software based at the U.S. market following the trails of the Sega Genesis marketing blitz. Nintendo of America appointed product analysts Jeff Hutt and Don James to head the division. The group initially concentrated on sports games, which led to the NES Play Action and Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball franchises. N/A
Project Sora 2009–2012 The company was solely created to develop Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS. The president and director of the team, Masahiro Sakurai later joined forces with Bandai Namco Games to create Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U with Nintendo SPD.[25] N/A
Nintendo Research & Engineering Department
(Nintendo RED)
2003–2013 The original hardware development team responsible for all of Nintendo's portable and hand held systems. The manager Satoru Okada and most of the chief engineers originate from the old Nintendo R&D1 hardware division that created all the Game & Watch and hand held LCD cabinets.[26] On February 16, 2013, Nintendo RED was combined with the Nintendo Integrated Research & Development (or IRD) division.[27][28] Nintendo IRD
Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development
(Nintendo EAD)
1989–2015 Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development was the premier development arm at Nintendo. The group had the largest concentration of R&D, housing more than 800 engineers and designers. The division was split into seven different subdivisions, each led by a designated producer and group manager. The overseeing managers were Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. Five divisions were located in the central Kyoto R&D building under the Software Development Department, while two divisions resided in the Tokyo offices under the Tokyo Software Development Department. Nintendo EPD
Nintendo Software Planning & Development
(Nintendo SPD)
2003–2015 Nintendo Software Planning & Development was the development group that included several of the original development officers from the old software and hardware development sectors. The division was broken up into two departments; Software Planning & Development Department and Software Design & Development Department. Nintendo EPD
Nintendo Integrated Research & Development
(Nintendo IRD)
2003–2015 Nintendo Integrated Research & Development was Nintendo's hardware group that specialized in all engineering and technological aspects of Nintendo's home console and handheld development. The division also housed industrial designers who design peripherals such as the WaveBird, Wii Zapper, and Wii steering wheel. The group was originally known as Research and Development Department 3 (R&D3),[29] with the same primary functions, with the exception that manager Genyo Takeda enjoyed moonlighting by developing console and arcade games. On February 16, 2013, Nintendo IRD combined with Nintendo Research & Engineering Department (or RED), the former hardware group that specialized in all engineering and technological aspects of Nintendo's handheld development.[27][28] Nintendo PTD
Nintendo Network Business & Development
(Nintendo NBD)
2003–2015 The Nintendo Network Business & Development division, which used to be centered in peripheral and software development, was a hybrid development group with several distinct duties. The development team originated from Nintendo Research & Development 2 and was mainly responsible for ports and inhouse development for low profile hardware like the Pokémon Mini and the Super Famicom Satellaview service. The department handled most Nintendo Network programming and server maintenance inside Nintendo's in-house projects and throughout various other external Nintendo software, in cooperation with Nintendo Network Services. The department also cooperated in software development.[30] Nintendo PTD


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