Nintendo's New Mobile Games Partner Hit With Layoffs

DeNA has laid off a number of its staff not long after announcing its partnership with Nintendo, but says they are unrelated.

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Japanese games company DeNA, which was recently revealed as Nintendo's partner for its foray into mobile gaming, has laid off a number of its employees, it was announced today.

"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," DeNA said in a statement to GamesBeat. "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."

The layoffs will, according to sources speaking with GamesBeat, result in the the publisher's Vancouver office being shut down and employees being let go from DeNA West's headquarters in San Francisco.

These moves come at what might appear to be an unusual time, both because of the Nintendo partnership--announced less than a month ago--and the apparent success of Final Fantasy Record Keeper, a new mobile game that DeNA said yesterday had already racked up over 1 million downloads.

DeNA insists that the moves are unrelated to both, saying, "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."

As part of its partnership with Nintendo, DeNA acquired a 1.24 percent stake in Nintendo, with Nintendo buying 10 percent of DeNA. The deal will see DeNA help to develop mobile games using Nintendo's IP, the first of which is expected out this year.

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