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Layoffs have come for nearly every developer since 2023, and Nintendo of America is now among those affected.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 27, 2024

2 Min Read
Screenshot of the Nintendo Switch.
Image via Nintendo.

At a Glance

  • Amid the job cuts, some of NoA's contractors are being transitioned into full-time staff members.

Layoffs have hit Nintendo of America, according to Kotaku. Sources told the outlet the US arm of Nintendo is undergoing a "massive downsizing" that will see over 100 contractor layoffs.

Along with those cuts, a Nintendo spokesperson told Kotaku a "significant number" of full-time positions will be created. However, these new jobs will reportedly move those affected out of software testing.

"[NOA] has reorganized its Product Testing functions to drive greater global integration in game development efforts," the email reads. "The changes will also better align NOA with interregional testing procedures and operations."

Thus far, layoffs have managed to hit nearly every developer in the industry, big and small. Nintendo marks the last of the Big Three to have staff cuts, as Sony and Microsoft had theirs earlier this year.

Several contractors told Kotaku they haven't recently tested any major first-party titles. They further claimed no one on staff (that they know of) has tested the Nintendo Switch 2, which has reportedly moved out of a late 2024 launch window into early 2025.

Contractors for NOA have previously made claims of a harmful work culture and pay inequity. In 2022, NOA was also taken to task for allegedly firing employees for discussing potential unionization efforts.

While converting some of the workers into full-time employees addresses those critiques, the layoffs raise questions about Nintendo's QA plans for its first-party lineup going forward.

"For those contractor associates who will be leaving us," the email concludes, "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."

Kotaku's full report on NOA can be read here.

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About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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