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Nintendo Software Planning & Development

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Nintendo Software Planning & Development

Founded: 2004
Founder: N/A
President: N/A
Predecessor: Nintendo Research & Development 1
Nintendo Research & Development 2
Successor: Nintendo EPD
Defunct: September 16, 2015
Parent / owner: Nintendo
Divisions / subsidiaries: N/A

Nintendo Software Planning & Development (任天堂 企画開発本部 Nintendō Kikaku Kaihatsu Honbu), commonly abbreviated as Nintendo SPD, was a secondary development branch of Nintendo. It acted as the successor to Nintendo R&D1 and R&D2 and consisted of Software Planning & Development Department, which primarily as producer on external projects, and Software Development & Design Department, which worked on experimental titles and system software. It was originally headed by Satoru Iwata before he ascended to presidency, with Shinya Takahashi taking his place.


The division was formed in 2003 as a part of a corporate restructure replacing the Nintendo R&D1 and R&D2 teams. Satoru Iwata was placed in charge of this division, with Shinya Takahashi put in as his deputy manager. Under them were four groups labeled as Group No. 1, Group No. 2, Group No. 3 and Group No. 4. They were initially headed by Yoshio Sakamoto, Takehiro Izushi, Kensuke Tanabe and Shinji Hatano respectively though Izushi and Hatano were soon replaced by Hitoshi Yamagami and Hiroshi Sato respectively.

After a few years of being president, Iwata fully transitioned the position as general manager of Nintendo SPD to Shinya Takahashi. In 2012, Yoshio Sakamoto was promoted to Deputy General Manager, leaving Katsuya Yamano as the manager of Group No. 1 and Kensuke Tanabe was promoted to Executive Officer, leaving Keisuke Terasaki as the manager of Group No. 3.

Sometime between 2013 and 2015, Yoshio Sakamoto and Software Production Group No. 1 moved in with Nintendo EAD as a part of some restructuring. With that, the Groups were renumbered that SPD No. 2 became SPD No. 1 and so forth.

On September 16, 2015, Nintendo EAD and Nintendo SPD were merged into a single, new division, titled Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development, following a corporate restructuring.[1]

Structural Hierarchy

The general structure of SPD is as follows. The general manager, Shinya Takahashi, oversees both the production groups and the SDD groups. Under him are the deputy general managers, with one overseeing the production groups and the other overseeing SDD.

Under them are the Group Managers. These guys produce the games and oversee the communication between Nintendo and the developers. At the time before it was combined into EPD, the group managers for each group respectively were Katsuya Yamano, Hitoshi Yamagami, Keisuke Terasaki and Toyokazu Nonaka. Each group typically has one or two deputy general managers. In addition, there are the Executive Officers which are veteran Nintendo staff that supercede the group managers on certain series. At the time before it was combined into EPD, these were Yoshio Sakamoto and Kensuke Tanabe.

For each project, group managers placed project leaders in charge of them. Sometimes, these would be deputy group managers but, they were typically long-time coordinators that had worked on several projects beforehand, usually in the same series / genre. These people were instrumental in determining the game's direction.

On top of the production groups, there was a Sound Group which consisted of composers and sound programmers that were used across games in different production groups. Even when they were not composing the game's soundtrack themselves, they usually played a role in supervising its production.

List of Games

Following each title, the group producing it will be listed.

Game Boy Advance

Nintendo GameCube

Nintendo DS


Nintendo 3DS

Wii U


  1. Nintendo Reveals Restructuring Plans. IGN (September 14, 2015). Retrieved September 14, 2015.

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