“In addition to changes to the R&D divisions, we established a new department called the ‘Business Development Department.'”
☆ NintendObs Event – Nintendo FY3/2014 Q & A.
At the Corporate Management Policy Briefing that the company held in January, you talked about several new ways to change how you conduct business. I understand that there will be new businesses for the company, such as QOL, but how does the company intend to change its organizational structure and development processes in order to adapt in line with the times and deploy these new businesses? I hope to hear some specific examples in this regard.
To answer your question, I think I should explain what we have been doing about our internal organization in response to our core management policy. For one thing, as previously announced, we have integrated our hardware development divisions and established the “Integrated Research & Development Division.” Until this change took place, we used to develop our handheld video game devices and home video game consoles in separate divisions. Of course, we did not simply merge two divisions into one. We know that we need to change how we manage this new division as well as how we create and manage new projects, and we are currently making progress on this. Also, the new R&D Development Center was built earlier this year, and our developers will move to their new offices in mid-June, after E3. After settling in, the developers who are now working at different buildings will be able to work together in the same building. As a result, our development of hardware and software can be done in a more unified fashion with individual developers being able to communicate directly with others more closely, and the different R&D teams that are currently working in separate rooms can work as one team in the same room. Of course, even now, our hardware development teams and software development teams work closely with each other, but because they belong to different departments under our current organizational structure, they are not necessarily able to visit others’ rooms freely. In the Development Center, we will create a space where developers from the four different R&D divisions can get together with others. This is another concrete example of what we are doing in order to establish an environment where unique and fun hardware-software integrated entertainment can be developed more smoothly.
In addition to these changes to the R&D divisions, in March we established a new department called the “Business Development Department.” Since the company released Family Computer System (Nintendo Entertainment System) in Japan and put it on the right track for sales growth, Nintendo has not needed to implement significant changes to its principle business structure. In other words, in comparison to many other companies, Nintendo used to have a smaller need for business development because, by maintaining a similar business structure, it was able to conduct its business and grow rather steadily. However, because the environment has greatly changed and Nintendo must create a new business structure and execute a variety of new endeavors that I have been addressing recently, we have established this new department that reports directly to me. We have gathered experts from a variety of different fields for this department. By working with others in the R&D divisions, these members have already been acting as contacts for a variety of different business partners, and have been making proposals and planting the seeds for discussion. The Business Development Department will play an important role in our company producing tangible outcomes for the topics we have been discussing recently: the active use of our character IP, future approach for the new markets, future of the new business fields, how we are going to change the definition of our future platforms and how we will take advantage of smart devices. These are the concrete examples that I can mention today to respond to your question.
Source: Nintendo JP.
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