Some of you may be familiar with Nintendo Software Technology, the American studio that Nintendo opened to create games that appealed more to Western markets. Though it was started with the best of intentions, things began to fall apart with the ill-fated Project H.A.M.M.E.R., which seemed to create a divide between the studio and its Japanese overseers. Since then, it's been relegated to creating freemium amiibo games for the eShop, and is supposedly being moved onto smartphone development.
It doesn't sound like the greatest place to be working right now, and it appears a couple key figures there didn't think so either. Stephen Mortimer and Paul Kranich -- the Lead and Assistant Designers, respectively -- both left the studio recently, following hot on the heels of the exit of Hirokazu Yasuhara, of Sonic Team fame. It's currently unknown what the studio is in the process of developing right now, but hopefully things will start looking up soon.
What do you think? Should Nintendo just axe this studio? What projects do you think they could be working on? Drop us a comment in the section below.
Seems like a lot of people don't seem to like the direction the company is going lately! Let's hope this is a good sign and not a bad one.
@Spoony_Tech probably got tired of NCL's "let's blindly throw darts at this wall and see what sticks" approach of the last decade.
whispers Just make a game that isn't pants, guys.
For a second there, I thought the developers were actually relevant, such as a retro studios employee leaving or something. Thanks for the near heart attack... Edit: Didn't read: Nintendo Software Technology as a studio, I thought it was any software employee.
Good for them. They had their finger on the pulse and realized it wasnt beatin to the right rhythm.
Or something like that....
Dissolve it into other divisions. They made garbage anyway.
I call dibs on the sign!
i don't think nintendo really wanted to make western themed or styled games. the most western-style action game they have is bayonetta 2. their open world sandbox is the underappreciated lego game. their shooter is splatoon. none of them developed by their own in-house supposedly western style devs. i think they ought to jsut give them free reign to see just waht they can do, or if they should be allowed to go on.
Pants feel good doh
Only the people working there will know what exactly went down. Seems likely they were kept on too tight a creative leash. This generally results in being stifled.
I hope they will be able to find the development jobs they are looking for.
Why haven't they been developing NX games? Maybe they aren't trusted to work on NX? Surely if they were developing an NX game, the lead designers wouldn't have left
I don't understand why it's so difficult for Nintendo to get something out of that studio. They used to make some really good games, obviously many of those developers have since left but they really just need to get hold of it and sort it out. Retro and Next Level prove Nintendo quality games can be made outside of Japan, its pathetic really
@Jamotello Nintendo didn't develop Bayonetta 2, platinum games did which isn't owned by Ninty. Nintendo made it possible by funding it and published it.
That studio has some serious problems. Can't blame the people for leaving. You join the company thinking this is Nintendo and you'll be at the forefront of innovative gameplay, design and pushing boundaries. But instead you're are lumped with reject after reject of a game with so many issues and now you're told that you'll be making some smart phone bottom droppings. I'd be gone too.
Must be working on Animal Crossing: SCamiibo Festival 2.
We'll never see a HD 1080 Snowboarding or Wave Race thanks to the gutted state of NST.
Well they need someone to work on the mobile games so keep it.
"Should Nintendo just axe this studio?"
They could try letting them make some proper games first.
Wave race and 1080 please!!!
@123akis i know. they didn't develop lego city undercover, either. 'they have' was a shorter means of saying 'their exclusives which were developed by others but with input from them and in fact funding in one case, and since they were exclusives, their handling of the developer might reflect how they would handle their own'.
When Nintendo tells a studio capable of creating something like Wave Race Blue Storm to make amiibo mini games just because this studio has not the same ideas as Nintendo Japan then you don't know what you're doing. Just like when Nintendo refused to buy Rare and let somebody else buy it instead, they don't really have a clue. But if all Nintendo wants to do is make amiibos and light games yeah, anyone can do that, they don't need any talented studios, just the copyright of the franchises they want to keep milking without any consideration other than making money.
And this is why Nintendo doesn't have a consistent release schedule of in house games.
There's a whole back catalogue of games that are gathering dust, yet NoJ are being far too stubborn to allow NST to produce something meaningfull. And yet they're happy ask 3rd party devs to help on projects like Smash Bros 4.
Reggie should really be fighting for NST to make proper games again, or just over rule NoJ and get the team to make games anyway.
It all comes down to what is being worked on. Could be it wasn't for them and decided to move on which is fair enough. Last thing you want is to work on something your heart isn't in and it ending up being rubbish. Good luck to them anyway wherever they end up.
Man, I feel bad for NST. They were making all these cool games like Wave Race and 1080 and Project H.A.M.M.E.R., and now they're stuck with Mario vs. Donkey Kong games.
How do they make games which appeal more to western audiences? They just have to use the Nintendo web framework to show what it does. Mario vs Donkey Kong isn't aimed specifically at western audiences anyway.
Regarding Hirokazu Yasuhara, they had clearly given up on targeting a Western style when they employed an old school Japanese designer. They then didn't even let him make proper games. Odd.
Most of the stuff they make in Japan already appeals to the west.
Reggie doesnt have the power to overrule NoJ. They call the shots. He is merely a figurehead.
I don't blame them for leaving, Nintendo have no trust in them since the whole Project H.A.M.M.E.R fiasco so they keep gettng the jobs no other devs want, I mean they went from making a Wave Race and a Metroid game to Wii apps and countless Mario vs Donkey kong games.Nintendo should let them make something of worth again like a new 1080 or WaveRace or even F Zero to give them confidence.
Legend leaves, minions follow. Seems logical and unsurprising.
Nintendo should focus on acquiring studios that know what they are doing (see Shin'en)....
Really sad to hear, given this is the same Nintendo branch that gave us Mario Vs. Donkey Kong. As in, the first one, not the Lemmings clone franchise it spawned.
@LetsGoRetro I know that, that's why I said what I did. The guy needs grow a spine and not let NoJ continuously screw over NST.
NST should be working on there own top tier games, we wouldn't be having so many droughts.
Lots of hateful, contemptuous comments here, on par with the worst trash of YouTube. Not surprised.
NST are talented developers for what they do for years now: Mario vs. Donkey Kong games. Of course it's not mentioned in the article at all, but they're all of very good quality, and some of them are spectacular, better than stuff like Chu Chu Rocket.
Also, why is working on mobile supposed to be something shameful, exactly? Weren't people eager for Nintendo to invest in that market?
Good luck to both those employees, I hope they'll find something they're happy with, and that they don't listen to the heinous bile some ignorant people are willing to throw at them.
@The__Goomba Maybe, as long as Nintendo gives them a fixed budget so they don't waste another $1m on something ridiculous like billboards.
Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge was mediocre crud that most sites couldn't be arsed reviewing. It was also a sham of a game. I could only find 5 reviews, 80/70/60/60/60. It doesn't even have a Metacritic score because there's not enough reviews.
@SLIGEACH_EIRE Wait... Those scores are better than those for Mario Tennis Wii u, starfox zero, Mario party 10...
Um, none of you guys seem to know what NST is really working on. The Mini Mario games are basically just little side projects. Their main work concerns middle ware development like codecs or the Nintendo web framework. They also develop certain aspects of new hardware products.
@manu0 Don't let the facts get in the way of a good old fashioned whine at Nintendo...
Nintendo needs to restructure that studio and give more freedom to the developers to make games. So what if Project hammer was a turd? They developed other good things - Wave Race was fantastic!
Hope they do something meaningful with those assets, and if they cannot... Well, yeah, axe it. Why maintain an asset that costs you and you don't use for anything?
Wave Race: Blue Storm, 1080 Avalanche, and Metroid Prime Hunters were fantastic NST games.
I even like Mario VS Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars and Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge. Obviously these games are not very amazing on a technical level, but the puzzle and stage designs are mindblowing at times. So, for being puzzle games they're doing a great job.
I guess amiibo Challenge didn't get many reviews because most reviewers didn't have the 8 supported amiibos to unlock the final world and most of the amiibo-based stages. Also, it is a free download, and people can try it out for themselves so reviews are unnecessary when you already own the console.
Leaked from Wikileaks
NST: I told you we should've developed Pokemon Go in house!
Nintendo Executives: Smartphone games not good, we don't do them here. We let other studios work on them.
NST: We could've created the most popular game of this generation, you guys blew it! Look, the shares are down, it's all your fault!
Nintendo Executives: Please understand, making smartphone games is dirty job. Nintendo don't do that type of games. We let other studios do the dirty job.
NST: What?! That's it we quit!
@Jamotello yeah, creating a division to make "western" games but then having a Japanese person oversee it doesn't sound like the best idea. I mean, it can work out ok but often their hands are tied
I liked the original idea of having them work on more western oriented games...
I had no idea this existed.
I wish Nintendo would just AXE NST.
They took the excellent, technical tour de force that was Wave Race 64 and 1080 and created completely duff, technically inept sequels that actually featured weaker animation on hardware many times the power. Ridge Racer 64 was good, but I didn't like how they added their own 'visual' flair by completely redoing all the textures and colour schemes of the PS editions.
NST ALWAYS miss the point.
Nintendo sold Rare and you have to remember Rare did not make one good game since.
It is a shame a studio like this that did make the incredible Wave Race are reduced to Amiibo mini games.
Nintendo are a business and there is a fortune being made on Amiibo so someone has to do it.
They quit because Miyamoto assigned them the new game called NX music.
It is the successor to Wii music...
I have confirmed this with numerous sources and you heard it here first LOL
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