Nintendo is a large and growing company, responsible not only for manufacturing its own hugely popular consoles like the Nintendo Switch, but also for producing some of the most popular first-party game releases in the world. In 2000, Nintendo grew out of the headquarters it had been based in for decades, though it remains in Kyoto. That growth continues in 2021, as Nintendo’s announced it will be expanding once more — to the location of its past headquarters.
On Friday, Nintendo announced that it was endeavoring on two significant expansions for its game development teams. One of those expansions comes in the form of a new building built on the Kyoto location of its former headquarters. Other buildings near this location already house Nintendo’s Mario Club QA Team and the Nintendo Kyoto Research Center, so it could be considered both a new facility and an expansion of Nintendo’s current studios in the area.
The second expansion effort involves Nintendo renting two floors from a new government building located nearby the current Nintendo headquarters. The 6th and 7th floors of the Kyoto City Waterworks Building will be leased from May 2022 onwards. These expansions are described as serving two purposes. ¥100 billion (880 million) will be spent expanding Nintendo’s game development efforts while ¥50 billion ($440 million) will in turn be used on non-gaming media production.
Nintendo says that it’s able to make such an aggressive expansion in part due to the Nintendo Switch’s performance exceeding expectations. Of course, Nintendo also says that it’s always been a priority of the company to grow in an effort to “continually” offer products and services that “deliver new surprises.” It also doesn’t hurt that Nintendo will receive ¥160 million ($1.4 million) each year from the KotoCity Corporate Location Promotion system over the next several years if it hires a certain amount of new employees in the area.
Nintendo fans are likely already familiar with the reasons for both of these expansions. First, Nintendo has been increasingly reliant on third-party partners for game development. Bandai Namco, in particular, has made some of Nintendo’s biggest releases over the past several years, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nintendo is also striving to break into the movie business, with an animated Mario move in development.
The expansion will likely be warmly embraced by Nintendo fans who want more Nintendo games. Watching both PlayStation and Xbox aggressively expand, acquiring studios for first-party game releases, while watching Nintendo first-party releases grow rarer despite the Switch’s success, is a frustrating situation. Nintendo appears ready to change that, however, even if it’s going to take time to grow up to speed.