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Nintendo makes cuts to US QA contractors

Switch maker confirms layoffs, says "a significant number" of contractors are being converted to full-time roles

Nintendo of America is reorganizing its QA team, as Kotaku reports the company is conducting a "massive" downsizing of the contractor base at its Redmond, Washington headquarters.

A representative confirmed for the outlet that it is ending a number of contractor assignments, but added that the reorganization is also resulting in "a significant number of new full-time employee positions."

While the contractors are technically employed by an external agency, Nintendo said those being let go will be offered severance packages.

Nintendo cited a desire "to drive greater global integration in game development efforts" as its reason for the shake-up, adding that it will "better align NOA with interregional testing procedures and operations."

Four former or current Nintendo contractors estimated for Kotaku that the re-organization potentially impacted more than 100 people.

A waning first-party pipeline for the Nintendo Switch may have played a role in the decision. Three contractors told the site there had been a "lull" in the workload on that front, and none knew of anyone yet working on testing games for the Switch's successor, which has reportedly been pushed back to 2025.

Nintendo's treatment of its US QA contractor workforce has been a subject of scrutiny since 2022 saw it the subject of a pair of formal complaints to the National Labor Relations Board and separate investigative reports by Kotaku and IGN.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.