DeNA says their North American layoffs have nothing to do with their partnership with Nintendo, but the facts say otherwise.

Nintendo’s Mobile Partner DeNA Already Hit With Layoffs

DeNA says their North American layoffs have nothing to do with their partnership with Nintendo, but the facts say otherwise.
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Recently, Japanese mobile entertainment giant DeNA announced an alliance with Nintendo to bring the gaming company’s legendary IPs to the mobile market. Even more recently, the company announced that its latest title, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper had reached 1 million downloads since its launch on March 24th. With things looking up, it comes as a huge surprise that DeNA has laid off several employees at their development studio in Vancouver, Canada and possibly San Francisco as well.  

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A spokesperson told GamesBeat: 

“DeNA Group is continually evaluating its game development operations to ensure that it’s structured in the best possible way to deliver high-quality mobile games to consumers worldwide. As a part of this process, we have decided to reshape the structure of our North American studio operations along with a reduction in workforce. We appreciate their contributions to DeNA and are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with them.”

Ouch. Layoffs are never a good thing, and they are all too popular in the game industry; but the question we’re all asking is: what does this mean for the partnership with Nintendo? 

According to DeNa: 

“The West will continue to be one of our core markets for our mobile gaming business, and this decision has no relation to our alliance with Nintendo or the popularity of Final Fantasy Record Keeper.

I doubt it. This reshaping of the “structure of their North American studio operations” and promising the continuing importance of the western market sounds a lot like DeNa is shifting resources to begin new operations. It is likely that they dismissed their partnership with Nintendo as the cause in order to avoid negative feelings toward the alliance. Business is business; and we wish the best to those who were laid off. 

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Amaad Delmar is a senior double majoring in Game Design and Creative Writing (May 2015 graduate). He's an avid gamer, and narrative creationist. Amaad's favorite game is the best game ever made (whether you like it or not): The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.