The video game industry has been facing challenges at the start of the year with mass layoffs occurring across various companies. A recent report by Ethan Gach of Kotaku indicates that Nintendo of America has significantly downsized its “small army of contractors” responsible for testing games and hardware. In an official statement, a spokesperson from Nintendo confirmed that this reorganization would involve ending some contractor assignments and creating a substantial number of new full-time employee positions. The American branch of Nintendo will also be providing support to the contractors’ agencies during this transition period.

While the exact number of employees affected by this restructure is not specified, sources mentioned in the Kotaku report suggest that “over 100 contractors” may be impacted. It is also noted that most of those transitioning to full-time positions are being moved out of software testing roles. According to Gach, approximately 120 contractor positions have been eliminated. Nintendo aims to portray this move as an effort to “better integrate” testing across its offices rather than as a cost-cutting measure. The report emphasizes that existing full-time employees at Nintendo of America are not affected by this restructure.

The downsizing at Nintendo of America is part of a larger trend in the video game industry, with major layoffs at Xbox and PlayStation earlier in the year. Other publishers, developers, and independent studios have also been impacted by the current challenges facing the industry. Even video game retailer GameStop has faced layoffs due to a significant decline in revenue.

The recent downsizing at Nintendo of America highlights the ongoing challenges in the video game industry. While the company’s focus on global integration in game development efforts is commendable, the impact on employees and contractors cannot be overlooked. It is crucial for companies in the industry to navigate these changes with sensitivity and transparency to ensure the well-being of their workforce.


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