Nintendo's Indie Boss Leaves The Company After Nine Years

Dan Adelman quits Nintendo of America to help indie studios grow by working as their "business guy."

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Adelman (left) alongside Super Meat Boy co-creator Tommy Refenes
Adelman (left) alongside Super Meat Boy co-creator Tommy Refenes

Nintendo of America indie boss Dan Adelman, who officially served as "head of digital content and development" at the company, has left the game giant after nine years. His last day at one of the biggest and most well-known game companies in the world was Friday.

Adelman confirmed his exit from Nintendo in an interview with Kotaku's Jason Schreier. He leaves Nintendo on good terms to work independently.

While his departure from Nintendo had the blessing of his now-former employer, Adelman said he oftentimes became frustrated at how Nintendo limited his talking opportunities after he said something that did not match up with the company line. In April, Gamasutra reported that Nintendo banned Adelman from using Twitter for a period of time because he voiced frustration about 3DS region-locking.

"I think people were kind of on pins and needles about anything untoward I might say," Adelman told Kotaku. "And every once in a while, I'd give an answer that people didn't like, and some people would freak out, so they tried to scale things back. First they had me do interviews with someone from PR or marketing. Later they just decided that I shouldn't be in the press at all anymore."

Regarding his Twitter embargo, Adelman said when people began to complain that he was not active on Twitter any more, it was suggested that a Nintendo PR person post in his name. "I thought that was about the worst idea I'd ever heard, so I left it as is and let the silence speak for itself," Adelman said.

Just because Adelman is leaving Nintendo, it doesn't mean the company is any less committed to supporting independent developers. "There is a large group of people working on helping developers through the process and they're going to continue doing that," Adelman said.

In his post-Nintendo career, Adelman plans to provide indie studios with business expertise to help their companies grow. "What I'm planning on doing is working directly with several indie game studios as their business guy -- whatever that really means," he said.

Adelman helped bring numerous beloved games like World of Goo, Cave Story, and Shovel Knight to Nintendo platforms. But he doesn't want to take all the credit. Developers are the true rockstars, and Adelman was something like a roadie in that metaphor. "That's kind of how I see what I did for all of the great indie games that have launched over the years on Nintendo platforms," he said.

Prior to joining Nintendo in 2005, Adelman worked at Microsoft, where he helped launch Xbox Live Arcade.

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