Nintendo has rolled down the shutters on two of its North American offices, with operations ending at its California and Toronto sites.
The offices closed on Friday, October 29 (as spotted by Kotaku), with approximately 100 employees displaced by the Californian closure.
The California office, in Redwood City, was one of Nintendo of America’s few key locations, serving as the base for the company’s sales and marketing departments, plus retailer support teams. These roles will be relocating to the Redmond, Washington offices.
Nintendo says it is consolidating its operations in the US and Canada.
“Nintendo of America headquarters are in Redmond, WA, and Vancouver, BC,” it told Kotaku. “We are moving more of our employees and operations into those headquarters and will be closing small satellite offices in Toronto, ON, and Redwood City, CA, over time.”
While the company’s statement indicates employees may be able to relocate, Kotaku cites sources who claim that workers were upset over Nintendo’s decision.
As a result of the Redwood City office’s closure, there will also be some shake-ups to Nintendo of America’s leadership team. Nick Chavez, SVP of Sales and Marketing, has left the company, with Nintendo saying that Devon Pritchard, currently Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and Publisher Relations “will assume interim leadership” of Chavez’s former role. Pritchard “will oversee strategy and execution of sales, marketing and communications across the US and Canada.”
Although Nintendo has offered no reason for the closures, simple convenience may be a factor. Consolidating operations in Redmond and Vancouver puts its two now-major bases within three hours’ drive of each other, and keeps operations in the same time zone.
However, Nintendo of America currently still shows the Redwood City and Toronto offices on its map of North American locations. The only other locations it lists – its flagship retail store in New York City, and the Austin, Texas base of Nintendo-owned developer Retro Studios – are unlikely to be affected by the business-focused moves.
Elsewhere, Nintendo has also opened preorders for Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise, its expansion for the relaxing life sim that allows players to design holiday homes for their Animal Crossing villagers on new islands. It will also be free to download for anyone who has a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership.