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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Avatar image for b1ank

Manager "Ok guys we just signed a patnership with Nintendo"

Employee "Ugh I hate Nintendo"

Other Employee "Me too!"

Manager "Ok you're fired"

Avatar image for ArabrockermanX

Of course they are "unrelated" Nintendo just partnered with them... However it does continue to raise to question on why Nintendo even bothered with a partnership... They went and partnered with a failed mobile gaming company and evidently said company isn't even the one making the phone games lol

Avatar image for Elranzer

The mobile games industry is toxic. It's the stock market equivalent of short sells.

Avatar image for ArabrockermanX

@Elranzer: Pretty much, it is also why I think it'll crash... I just hope Nintendo doesn't go overboard in the phone market and forget it makes AAA games.

Avatar image for eternaldragoonx


Avatar image for kereke12

Good job, Nintendo. Good Job!!

Avatar image for bighailfan

@kereke12: How is it their fault?

Avatar image for endgame18

I am sure they did that to pay to Nintendo with the money

Avatar image for playstationzone

What good start for nindendo moblie business not anyway they been a lot old nindendo games right know on phone

Avatar image for lostn

An auspicious start to a great new partnership.

Avatar image for BradBurns


Avatar image for somberfox

Great way to inspire confidence in Nintendo's choice of mobile developer though.

Avatar image for sirapathetic01

Hate layoffs. I hope those who lost their jobs at Dena find new and better jobs.

Avatar image for sirapathetic01

@7tizz: Nothing to relax about...I'm just wishing them the best. Statistics are irrelevant. So, you relax.

Avatar image for BradBurns

@7tizz: With the most resources of any nation...why can't the US achieve rates that low again?

I guess Citigroup wasn't kidding when they proudly stated that the US is already a plutocracy.

Avatar image for ArabrockermanX

@BradBurns@7tizz: Because the US is run by a bunch of corrupt bstrds more worried about invading other nations then taking care of their own...

Avatar image for label07

@BradBurns@7tizz: Because it's too easy for people to feed off the system or they have realized they are slaves to the corporations/economy thus have given up; which goes right back to my first point.

Avatar image for BradBurns

@label07@BradBurns@7tizz: Americans have basically given up any struggle to gain much from the choke hold that rich elites have on our gov't.

As far as 1st world nations go, we have the most resources but our living standards are pretty sorry. Corporations love a submissive workforce while bailouts and welfare for the wealthy are greatly expanded.

Avatar image for GuillermoJP

I've heard from TotalBiscuit that DeNA were the publishers of Final Fantasy Record Keeper (mobile game), and he enjoys it.

So at least that gives some idea of whom they are and sparks a little more interest in this partnership.

Avatar image for 5hd6j

@GuillermoJP: If that's what we have to look forward to from this partnership, no thanks. May it backfire.

Avatar image for Megavideogamer

I guess DeNa is practising Dying out. Before the team up with Nintendo. Then they can die together.

Avatar image for Stesilaus

Same old story ...

Shareholders expect immediate results, so profit margins must be boosted. That means that costs must be reduced, and the easiest way to do that is by getting rid of the most expensive employees.

Of course, the most expensive employees are usually the ones with the most experience, so the company is left with a whole lot of dimwitted, grinning prima donnas who are great at polishing their marbles, but who can do nothing else.

What's really sad is that the laid off employees seldom (if ever) get a decent layoff. Usually the company invents pretexts for getting rid of them, and that's accomplished through a brutal process of setting them up to fail, disparaging or ignoring good work, blaming them for others' mistakes, inflating minor foibles out of proportion etc. etc.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper will be their only decent game. Everything else will be sh*t and the partnership will lose money and fail.

And that's exactly what they deserve.

Avatar image for punksterdaddy


You sound like you are talking from brutal experience there.

I completely agree with you and I know what you say is true, because when I saw it play out before my eyes, I was stunned that they would get rid of a hard working genius, who could not only do the job but helped keep everyone informed on what everybody was doing, which wasn't his job to do. Then keep the useless golf playing, BMW driving, £500k per annum waste of space cnut, who's job it actually was.

I lost my mentor and friend that day... While he still works there as far as I know.

It's not about what you know but whom.

Avatar image for ACMC85

@Stesilaus: ...these lower level employees aren't all prima donnas, It's not their fault management is incompetent and expect them to do work that requires more experienced staff. As for this partnership, I'm not a fan. But, we'll see how it goes. Don't really see how we will lose either way. I have no interest in it, besides Nintendo's great games. If you're worried about DLC crap, it;s already creeped in before this BS deal. I ain't paying them for more courses, characters and a few hats. I already paid $60 and that's an insane amount of money. Maybe you are rich. But, I don't piss money out the window on an already expensive hobby.

Avatar image for lostn

@Stesilaus: The most expensive employees are the suits. But they aren't going to sack themselves are they?

Avatar image for gaealiege

@lostn@Stesilaus: He/she clearly meant the most expensive employees that do actual work and hold actual credentials/expertise.

Avatar image for jyml8582

Probably to make up for the huge "partnership" fee they had to pay Nintendo for the deal.

Avatar image for Deadlysyns87

@jyml8582: The largest mobile gaming company in Japan is doing Nintendo a favor by doing this.

Avatar image for imajinn

The worst mobile gaming company in Japan. Fixed that for you.

Avatar image for phbz

@Deadlysyns87@jyml8582: Yes, charity is what made them so big.

Avatar image for Deadlysyns87

@phbz@Deadlysyns87@jyml8582: My point is if anyone had to pay for this deal it was Nintendo. They had to by out 10% of a company whose stocks were selling for about $18 american dollars. 10% is a lot of stocks in a company .

Avatar image for fanboyman

The stock price is irrelevant it's the market cap (value of the company) that matters, for example if :DeNA had 1 million shares of stock available at $18 that would mean the company is worth $18million, so using that example it would cost Nintendo $1.8million to buy 10% of :DeNA, that's not a lot of money for a billion-dollar company like Nintendo (but I don't know what :DeNA's worth)