Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development

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Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development Division
Native name
任天堂情報開発本部
Nintendō Jōhō Kaihatsu Honbu
Formerly
Nintendo Research & Development 4 Department
Division
IndustryVideo games
GenreVideo game developer
FateMerged with Nintendo Software Planning & Development
Predecessors
SuccessorNintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
Founded1983; 36 years ago (1983) in Kyoto, Japan
FounderHiroshi Yamauchi
DefunctSeptember 16, 2015 (2015-09-16)
Headquarters,
Number of locations
2 (Kyoto and Tokyo)
Key people
ProductsList of games developed
ServicesVideo game development
OwnerNintendo
ParentNintendo

Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development Division [e], commonly abbreviated as Nintendo EAD, formerly Nintendo Research & Development 4 Department,[f] was formerly the largest software development division inside of Nintendo. It was preceded by the Creative Department, a team of designers with backgrounds in art responsible for many different tasks, to which Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka originally belonged.[1][2] Both served as managers of the EAD studios and were credited in every game developed by the division, with varying degrees of involvement. Nintendo EAD was best known for its work on games in the Donkey Kong, Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero, Star Fox, Animal Crossing, Pikmin and Wii series.

Following a large company restructure following the death of company president Satoru Iwata, the division merged with Nintendo's Software Planning & Development division in September 2015, becoming Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

During the 1970s, when Nintendo was still predominantly a toy company, it decided to expand into interactive entertainment and the video game industry. Several designers were hired to work under the Creative Department, which, at the time, was the only game development department within Nintendo. Among these new designers were Makoto Kano, who went on to design various Game & Watch games, and Shigeru Miyamoto, who would create various Nintendo franchises. In 1972, the department was renamed to Research & Development Department; it had about 20 employees. The department was later consolidated into a division and separated into three groups, Nintendo R&D1, R&D2 and R&D3.

1980–1989: Creation as Research & Development 4[edit]

The success of Shigeru Miyamoto's Donkey Kong arcade game was a deciding factor in the creation of Nintendo R&D4.

After the success of Donkey Kong, a game designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, then Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi created the Nintendo Research & Development 4 Department (commonly abbreviated to Nintendo R&D4) in 1983, a new development department to complement the other three existing ones in the Nintendo Research & Development division. Yamauchi appointed Hiroshi Ikeda, former president of Toei Animation, as general manager, and Miyamoto as chief producer, who would later become one of the most recognized video game developers in the world. Nintendo also drafted a couple of key graphic designers to the department including Takashi Tezuka and Kenji Miki. With the arcade market dwindling, Nintendo R&D1's former focus, the department concentrated most of their software development resources on the emerging handheld video game console market, primarily thanks to the worldwide success of Nintendo's Game Boy. This catapulted the R&D4 department to become the lead software developer for Nintendo home video game consoles, developing a myriad of games for the Family Computer home console (abbreviated to Famicom, known as the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America, Europe and Australia).

Hiroshi Ikeda's creative team had many video game design ideas, but was lacking the necessary programming power to make it all happen. Toshihiko Nakago, and his small company Systems Research & Development (abbreviated to SRD), had its expertise in computer-aided design (CAD) tools and was very familiar with the Famicom chipset, and was originally hired to work with Masayuki Uemura's Nintendo R&D2 to internally develop software development kits. When Nintendo R&D2 and SRD jointly began porting over R&D1 arcade games to the Famicom, Shigeru Miyamoto took the opportunity to lure Nakago away from R&D2, to help Miyamoto create his first Nintendo R&D4 video game, Excitebike. And so the original R&D4 department became composed of Miyamoto, Takashi Tezuka, Kenji Miki, and Minoru Maeda handling design; Koji Kondo, Akito Nakatsuka, and Hirokazu Tanaka handling sound design; and Toshihiko Nakago and SRD became the technology and programming core.

One of the first games developed by the R&D4 department was Mario Bros. in 1983, designed and directed by Miyamoto. The department was, however, unable to program the game with such an inexperienced team, and so counted with programming assistance from Gunpei Yokoi and the R&D1 department. One of the first completely self-developed games was Super Mario Bros., the sequel to Mario Bros. The game set standards for the platform genre, and went on to be both a critical and commercial success. In 1986, R&D4 developed The Legend of Zelda, for which Miyamoto again served as a director. The phenomenal sales of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda fueled the expansion of the department with young game designers such as Hideki Konno, Katsuya Eguchi, Kensuke Tanabe, Takao Shimizu, who would later become producers themselves.

1989–2002: Renamed to Entertainment Analysis & Development[edit]

In 1989, one year before the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was released in Japan, the R&D4 department was spun-off and made its own division named Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development (commonly abbreviated as Nintendo EAD).[3][4] The division was comprised into two departments: the Software Development Department, which focused on video game development and was led by Miyamoto, and the Technology Development Department, which focused on programming and developing tools and was led by Takao Sawano.[5] The technology department was born out of several R&D2 engineers that were assisting SRD with software libraries. After that, the same department later collaborated with Argonaut Games to develop the Super FX chip technology for the SNES, first used in Star Fox in 1993. This venture allowed the Technology Development Department to become more prominent in the 3D era, where they programmed several of Nintendo EAD's 3D games with SRD.

F-Zero (video game), released in 1990, was the first video game fully programmed at the division. Prior to that, most programming was outsourced to SRD Co. Ltd.[6]

In 1997, Miyamoto explained that about twenty to thirty employees were devoted to each Nintendo EAD title during the course of its development.[7] It was then that he also disclosed the existence of the SRD programming company within the division, formally Nintendo R&D2's software unit, which was composed of about 200 employees with proficiency in software programming.[7]

In the advent of launching both the GameCube and Game Boy Advance, Nintendo sought to change the structure of its corporate management. In June 2000, in an attempt to include both software and hardware experts in the board of directors, EAD and Integrated Research & Development general managers, Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda respectively, entered the body. In addition,former HAL Laboratory president and future Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, also entered the board. With Miyamoto being promoted into the board of directors, he was now in charge of overseeing all of Nintendo's software development. In order to fill Miyamoto's void as producer, there were a series of promotions in the division: starting with long-time Miyamoto colleague Takashi Tezuka, as deputy general manager, as well as promoting several senior directors like Eiji Aonuma, Hideki Konno, Takao Shimizu, Tadashi Sugiyama and Katsuya Eguchi to producers overseeing their own development teams in the division.[3] Nevertheless, after the promotion, Miyamoto still went on to produce some games.

On November 24, 2000, Nintendo moved its Japanese headquarters, along with its internal teams, into a newly built facility. The new building was primarily built to provide a more expansive workplace for Nintendo's growing development teams.[3]

In 2002, Nintendo opened a Nintendo EAD studio in Tokyo, appointing Takao Shimizu as manager of the branch. The studio was created with the goal of bringing in fresh new talent from the capital of Japan who wouldn't be willing or able to travel to Kyoto. Their first project was Donkey Kong Jungle Beat for the GameCube which made use of the DK Bongos, initially created for Donkey Konga.

2003–2015: Restructure, new managers, and merger with SPD[edit]

On September 30, 2003, as a result of a corporate restructure Nintendo was undergoing, in which several members of the Nintendo R&D1 and R&D2 were reassigned under Nintendo EAD, the department was consolidated into a division and began welcoming a new class of managers and producers.[8] Hideki Konno, Katsuya Eguchi, Eiji Aonuma, Hiroyuki Kimura, and Tadashi Sugiyama were appointed project managers of their own groups within the Software Development Department; Shimizu was appointed project manager of the Tokyo Software Development Department; and Keizo Ota and Yasunari Nishida were appointed project managers of their own groups in the Technology Development Department.

In 2013, Katsuya Eguchi was promoted Department Manager of both Software Development Departments in Kyoto and Tokyo. As such, he left his role as Group Manager of Software Development Group No. 2, and was replaced by Hisashi Nogami. On June 18, 2014, the EAD Kyoto branch was moved from the Nintendo Central Office to the Nintendo Development Center in Kyoto. The building housed more than 1100 developers from all of Nintendo's internal research and development divisions, which included the Nintendo EAD, SPD, IRD and SDD divisions.

On September 16, 2015, EAD merged with Nintendo Software Planning & Development into a single game development division, Entertainment Planning & Development (EPD). The move followed an internal restructuring of Nintendo executives and departments after the death of former president Satoru Iwata, who died in July 2015.[9]

Structure[edit]

The Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development division was headed by Nintendo-veteran Takashi Tezuka who acted as general manager. The division was divided in two development departments: one in Kyoto, with Katsuya Eguchi acting as its deputy general manager; and one in Tokyo, with Yoshiaki Koizumi acting as its deputy general manager.

Kyoto Software Development Department[edit]

Katsuya Eguchi, Deputy General Manager of the Nintendo EAD division in Kyoto.

The Nintendo EAD Kyoto Software Development Department was the largest and one of the oldest research and development departments within Nintendo, housing more than 700 video game developers. It was located in Kyoto, Japan, formerly in the Nintendo Central Office, but on June 28, 2014, it was relocated to the new Nintendo Development Center, which housed all of Nintendo's internal research and development divisions.

The development department integrated Nintendo's most notable producers: Hideki Konno, producer of the Nintendogs and Mario Kart series; Katsuya Eguchi, producer of the Wii and Animal Crossing series; Eiji Aonuma, producer of The Legend of Zelda series; Hiroyuki Kimura, producer Big Brain Academy, Super Mario Bros., and Pikmin series; and Tadashi Sugiyama, producer of the Wii Fit, Steel Diver and Star Fox series.

The department was managed by veteran Nintendo game designer Katsuya Eguchi. As such, Hisashi Nogami later replaced his role as the producer of the Animal Crossing and was responsible for the creation of the Splatoon series.

List of video games developed by the Nintendo EAD Software Development Department in Kyoto
Year Title Genre(s) Platform(s) Producer(s) Ref.
1985 Super Mario Bros. Platform Nintendo Entertainment System
Family Computer Disk System
Shigeru Miyamoto
1986 The Legend of Zelda Action-adventure Family Computer Disk System
Nintendo Entertainment System
Shigeru Miyamoto
The Mysterious Murasame Castle Action-adventure Family Computer Disk System Keizo Kato
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels Platform Family Computer Disk System Shigeru Miyamoto
1987 Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Action role-playing Family Computer Disk System
Nintendo Entertainment System
Shigeru Miyamoto
Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic Platform Family Computer Disk System Shigeru Miyamoto
Famicom Mukashibanashi: Shin Onigashima Adventure, visual novel Family Computer Disk System Hiroshi Ikeda
Shigeru Miyamoto
1988 Super Mario Bros. 2[g] Platform Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
Ice Hockey[codeveloped 1] Sports Family Computer Disk System
Nintendo Entertainment System
Shigeru Miyamoto
Masayuki Uemura
Super Mario Bros. 3 Platform Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
1990 Super Mario World Platform Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
F-Zero Racing Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto [6]
Pilotwings Amateur flight simulation Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
1991 SimCity City-building Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Action-adventure Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
1992 Wave Race[codeveloped 2] Racing Game Boy Shigeru Miyamoto
Super Mario Kart Kart racing Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
1993 Star Fox[codeveloped 3] Rail shooter, Shoot 'em up Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Action-adventure Game Boy Shigeru Miyamoto
Super Mario All-Stars Platform Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
1994 Stunt Race FX[codeveloped 3] Racing Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
Donkey Kong[codeveloped 2] Platform, puzzle Game Boy Shigeru Miyamoto
1995 Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island Platform Super Nintendo Entertainment System Shigeru Miyamoto
1996 Pilotwings 64[codeveloped 4][codeveloped 5] Amateur flight simulation Nintendo 64 Genyo Takeda
Shigeru Miyamoto
Super Mario 64 Platform Nintendo 64 Shigeru Miyamoto
Mole Mania[codeveloped 2] Puzzle Game Boy Shigeru Miyamoto
Wave Race 64 Racing Nintendo 64 Shigeru Miyamoto
Mario Kart 64 Kart racing Nintendo 64 Shigeru Miyamoto
1997 Star Fox 64 Shoot 'em up Nintendo 64 Shigeru Miyamoto
Yoshi's Story Platform Nintendo 64 Takashi Tezuka
1998 1080° Snowboarding Sports, racing Nintendo 64 Shigeru Miyamoto
F-Zero X Racing Nintendo 64 Shigeru Miyamoto
Pokémon Stadium[codeveloped 6][codeveloped 7] Role-playing Nintendo 64 Kenji Miki
Tsunekazu Ishihara
Satoru Iwata
Shigeru Miyamoto
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Action-adventure Nintendo 64 Shigeru Miyamoto
1999 Role-playing Nintendo 64 Kenji Miki
Tsunekazu Ishihara
Satoru Iwata
Shigeru Miyamoto
2000 F-Zero X Expansion Kit Racing Nintendo 64
(64DD)
Shigeru Miyamoto
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Action-adventure Nintendo 64 Shigeru Miyamoto
Nintendo 64 Kenji Miki
Tsunekazu Ishihara
Satoru Iwata
Shigeru Miyamoto
2001 Dōbutsu no Mori Life simulation Nintendo 64 Takashi Tezuka
Luigi's Mansion Action-adventure GameCube Shigeru Miyamoto,
Takashi Tezuka
Pikmin Real-time strategy GameCube Shigeru Miyamoto
Animal Crossing Life simulation GameCube Takashi Tezuka
2002 Super Mario Sunshine Platform, action-adventure GameCube Shigeru Miyamoto
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Action-adventure GameCube Shigeru Miyamoto
Takashi Tezuka
2003 Pokémon Box: Ruby and Sapphire N/A GameCube Shigeru Miyamoto
Kenji Miki
Hiroaki Tsuru
Dōbutsu no Mori e+ Life simulation GameCube Takashi Tezuka
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Kart racing GameCube Shigeru Miyamoto
Tadashi Sugiyama
Shinya Takahashi
Takashi Tezuka
Pac-Man Vs. Maze GameCube Shigeru Miyamoto
2004 The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures Action-adventure GameCube Eiji Aonuma,
Shigeru Miyamoto
Pikmin 2 GameCube Shigeru Miyamoto,
Takashi Tezuka
Super Mario 64 DS Nintendo DS Shigeru Miyamoto
2005 Yoshi Touch & Go Nintendo DS Takashi Tezuka
Big Brain Academy Nintendo DS Hiroyuki Kimura
Nintendogs Nintendo DS Hideki Konno,
Shigeru Miyamoto
Mario Kart DS Racing Nintendo DS Hideki Konno,
Shigeru Miyamoto
Animal Crossing: Wild World Social simulation Nintendo DS Katsuya Eguchi,
Takashi Tezuka
2006 New Super Mario Bros. Platform Nintendo DS Hiroyuki Kimura,
Takashi Tezuka
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess GameCube
Wii
Shigeru Miyamoto
Wii Sports Sports Wii Katsuya Eguchi
Kiyoshi Mizuki
Wii Play Party Wii Katsuya Eguchi
2007 Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree Edutainment Wii Hiroyuki Kimura
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Action-adventure Nintendo DS Eiji Aonuma,
Shigeru Miyamoto
Link's Crossbow Training First-person shooter Wii Eiji Aonuma
2008 Wii Fit Exergaming Wii Tadashi Sugiyama,
Shigeru Miyamoto,
Takao Sawano
Mario Kart Wii Racing Wii Hideki Konno,
Shigeru Miyamoto
Wii Music Wii Takashi Tezuka,
Katsuya Eguchi
Animal Crossing: City Folk Social simulation Wii Katsuya Eguchi
New Play Control! Pikmin Real-time strategy Wii Hiroyuki Kimura
New Play Control! Pikmin 2 Real-time strategy Wii Hiroyuki Kimura
2009 Wii Sports Resort Sports Wii Katsuya Eguchi
Wii Fit Plus Exergaming Wii Tadashi Sugiyama,
Shigeru Miyamoto
New Super Mario Bros. Wii Platform Wii Takashi Tezuka,
Hiroyuki Kimura,
Shigeru Miyamoto
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks Action-adventure Nintendo DS Shigeru Miyamoto,
Eiji Aonuma
2011 Nintendogs + Cats Digital pet Nintendo 3DS Hideki Konno
Steel Diver (with Vitei) Nintendo 3DS Tadashi Sugiyama
Super Mario 3D Land Nintendo 3DS Yoshiaki Koizumi
Mario Kart 7 3DS Hideki Konno
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Action-adventure Wii Eiji Aonuma
2012 New Super Mario Bros. 2 3DS Takashi Tezuka,
Hiroyuki Kimura,
Shigeru Miyamoto
Animal Crossing: New Leaf 3DS Katsuya Eguchi
New Super Mario Bros. U Wii U Takashi Tezuka,
Hiroyuki Kimura,
Shigeru Miyamoto
Nintendo Land Wii U Katsuya Eguchi
2013 Pikmin 3 Wii U Hiroyuki Kimura
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Wii U Eiji Aonuma
Wii Fit U Wii U Tadashi Sugiyama
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 3DS Eiji Aonuma
2014 Steel Diver: Sub Wars (with Vitei) 3DS Tadashi Sugiyama

Technology Development Department[edit]

List of video games developed by the Nintendo EAD Technology Development Department
Year Title Genre(s) Platform(s)
1999 Mario Artist: Paint Studio[codeveloped 8] Graphics software 64DD
2000 Mario Artist: Talent Studio
Mario Artist: Polygon Studio
Mario Artist: Communication Kit

Tokyo Software Development Department[edit]

Yoshiaki Koizumi, Deputy General Manager of the Nintendo EAD division in Tokyo.

The Nintendo EAD Tokyo Software Development Department was created in 2002 with the goal of bringing in fresh new talent from the capital of Japan who wouldn't be willing to travel hundreds of miles away to Kyoto. It is located in Tokyo, Japan, in the Nintendo Tokyo Office. The department was managed by veteran game developer Katsuya Eguchi, who also oversaw development operations for the Kyoto Software Development Department. The studio's general manager was Yoshiaki Koizumi.

List of video games developed by the Nintendo EAD Software Development Department in Tokyo
Year Title Genre(s) Platform(s)
2004 Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Platform GameCube
2007 Super Mario Galaxy Platform Wii
2009 Nintendo DS Guide: Ikspiari[codeveloped 9] Tour guide Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS Guide: Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art[codeveloped 9] Tour guide Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS Guide: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan[codeveloped 9] Tour guide Nintendo DS
2010 Nintendo DS Guide: Make It Yourself![codeveloped 9] Tour guide Nintendo DSi
(DSiWare)
2011 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D[codeveloped 10] Action-adventure Nintendo 3DS
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition[codeveloped 10] Action-adventure Nintendo DSi
(DSiWare)
2013 Photos with Mario Augmented reality Nintendo 3DS
Wii U Panorama View Panorama viewer Wii U
Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre[codeveloped 11][codeveloped 9] Tour guide Nintendo 3DS
2015 The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D[codeveloped 10] Action-adventure Nintendo 3DS
List of video games developed by the Nintendo EAD Software Development Department in Tokyo
Year Title Genre(s) Platform(s) Producer(s)
2008 New Play Control: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Platform Wii Yoshiaki Koizumi
Flipnote Studio Animation Nintendo DSi
(DSiWare)
Yoshiaki Koizumi
2010 Super Mario Galaxy 2 Platform Wii Yoshiaki Koizumi
Takashi Tezuka
2011 Super Mario 3D Land Platform Nintendo 3DS Yoshiaki Koizumi
2013 Flipnote Studio 3D Animation Nintendo 3DS Yoshiaki Koizumi
Super Mario 3D World Platform Wii U Yoshiaki Koizumi
NES Remix[codeveloped 11] Compilation Wii U Yoshiaki Koizumi
Masanobu Suzui (Indieszero)
2014 NES Remix 2[codeveloped 11] Compilation Wii U Yoshiaki Koizumi
Masanobu Suzui (Indieszero)
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Platform, puzzle Wii U Koichi Hayashida

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Former General Manager
  2. ^ General Manager
  3. ^ a b Deputy General Manager
  4. ^ a b Group Manager
  5. ^ Japanese: 任天堂情報開発本部 Hepburn: Nintendō Jōhō Kaihatsu Honbu?
  6. ^ Known in Japan as Nintendō Kaihatsu Daiyon Bu (任天堂開発第四発), commonly abbreviated as Nintendo R&D4.)
  7. ^ Based on Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic.
  1. ^ Codeveloped with Nintendo Research & Development 2.
  2. ^ a b c Codeveloped with Pax Softnica.
  3. ^ a b Codeveloped with Argonaut Games.
  4. ^ Codeveloped with Nintendo Research & Development 3.
  5. ^ Codeveloped with Paradigm Entertainment.
  6. ^ a b c Codeveloped with HAL Laboratory.
  7. ^ a b c Codeveloped with Creatures.
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference Software Creations was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ a b c d e Codeveloped by the Nintendo EAD Technology Development Department.
  10. ^ a b c Codeveloped by Grezzo.
  11. ^ a b c Codeveloped by indieszero.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Using the D-pad to Jump". Iwata Asks: Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary Vol. 5: Original Super Mario Developers. Nintendo. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  2. ^ "I'd Never Heard Of Pac-Man". Iwata Asks: New Super Mario Bros. Wii Vol. 2. Nintendo. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Profile: Nintendo EAD". nsidr. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  4. ^ "Nintendo EAD". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on July 8, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Iwata Asks: Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre". Nintendo of Europe GmbH. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  6. ^ a b "Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES developer interview - Volume 2: F-ZERO". Nintendo. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  7. ^ a b Takao Imamura, Shigeru Miyamoto (1997). Nintendo Power August, 1997 - Pak Watch E3 Report "The Game Masters". Nintendo. pp. 104–105.
  8. ^ N-Sider. Nintendo Revolution FAQ
  9. ^ Kohler, Chris. "Nintendo Consolidates Its Game Development Teams". Wired. Retrieved 15 September 2015.