Nintendo of America to lay off contractors ahead of Switch 2’s release, according to report

Mass Layoffs Continue in Games Industry, Nintendo of America Restructures Testing Department

In the ongoing trend of mass layoffs in the games industry, Nintendo of America is the latest to undergo significant changes. Reports suggest that these changes are happening ahead of the anticipated launch of the next Nintendo Switch successor in 2025.

According to a report by Kotaku, Nintendo of America’s testing department, which includes contractors responsible for testing upcoming games and hardware, is currently undergoing a major restructuring.

Eight contractors who have either worked or are currently working for Nintendo of America revealed that the testing department is experiencing downsizing, potentially leading to layoffs. However, some contractors have been offered full-time positions within the company.

A spokesperson from Nintendo of America provided a statement to Kotaku, explaining the reorganization: “Nintendo of America (NOA) has reorganized its Product Testing functions to drive greater global integration in game development efforts. The changes will also better align NOA with interregional testing procedures and operations.”

The spokesperson continued, “These changes will involve some contractor assignments ending, as well as the creation of a significant number of new full-time employee positions. For all assignments that are ending, the contractors’ agencies, with NOA’s support, will offer severance packages and provide assistance during their transition.”

Reports indicate that this restructuring could impact approximately 100 contractors, with those transitioning to full-time roles mostly moving away from software testing. While nothing is confirmed, it is speculated that Nintendo may be shifting focus towards hardware testing in preparation for the upcoming console launch, as Nintendo Switch software releases begin to slow down.

With this move, Nintendo joins other major players in the industry who have recently undergone layoffs. Microsoft laid off around 1,900 employees across Xbox Game Studios divisions, including Activision Blizzard and Zenimax. Sony also let go of approximately 900 staff members, affecting UK-based studios and larger developers like Insomniac Games.