Nintendo of America restructures testing department

Nintendo of America is reorganising its product testing department to "drive greater global integration in game development efforts."
nintendo switch successor

Nintendo of America has confirmed reports of a major restructure within its software and hardware testing team, to contend with the current circumstances of game development. According to an official statement shared with Kotaku, part of these changes will see some current employees laid off, and others offered full-time contracts.

Former employees speaking to Kotaku have claimed there is a “massive downsizing” effort underway, allegedly due to a delayed launch for the Nintendo Switch’s successor console, and overall games industry downturn.

While some employees will benefit from the Nintendo of America restructure, as the company claims it’s creating more permanent, full-time positions, others will have their tenure ended with severance. Per Nintendo of America, the overall changes will allow the company to better align itself with “interregional testing procedures and operations.”

“Nintendo of America (NOA) has reorganised its Product Testing functions to drive greater global integration in game development efforts,” NOA told Kotaku. “The changes will also better align NOA with interregional testing procedures and operations.”

Read: Sega Europe lays off 240 employees, sells Relic Entertainment

“These changes will involve some contractor assignments ending, as well as the creation of a significant number of new full-time employee positions. For all assignments that are ending, the contractors’ agencies, with NOA’s support, will offer severance packages and provide assistance during their transition.”

“For those contractor associates who will be leaving us, we are tremendously grateful for the important contributions they’ve made to our business, and we extend our heartfelt thanks for their hard work and service to Nintendo.”

Nintendo of America did not confirm the number of staff impacted by these changes, but sources speaking to Kotaku alleged up to 100 contractors could be laid off. They further alleged the reason behind these changes was a “lull” between major projects, as an alleged delay to the next Nintendo console has led to a lack of needed work.

At this stage, it’s believe the console is targeting release in 2025. Presumably, capacity and the need for product testing will change in the lead-up to release. At this stage, not much is known about the console, or how Nintendo’s testing protocols will shift to account for these reported internal changes.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.