Nintendo of America to lay off contractors ahead of Switch 2's release, according to report

Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto, Japan.
(Image credit: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In case you were wondering, yes, the games industry is still undergoing a period of mass layoffs. According to a new report, the latest round seems to be from Nintendo of America ahead of the release of the much-anticipated Nintendo Switch successor which appears to be slated for a 2025 launch.

The report, from Kotaku, states that Nintendo of America's contractors - who perform testing for upcoming games and hardware - are undergoing a wholesale restructuring. 

According to eight contractors who work (or have worked) for Nintendo of America, the testing department is undergoing a period of downsizing that includes an undetermined numbers of layoffs, though some contractors have reportedly been offered full-time roles at the company.

A Nintendo of America spokesperson provided the following statement to Kotaku: "Nintendo of America (NOA) has reorganized its Product Testing functions to drive greater global integration in game development efforts. The changes will also better align NOA with interregional testing procedures and operations.

"These changes will involve some contractor assignments ending, as well as the creation of a significant number of new full-time employee positions. For all assignments that are ending, the contractors’ agencies, with NOA’s support, will offer severance packages and provide assistance during their transition."

Kotaku's report learns that this restructuring may affect upwards of 100 contractors, and those transitioning to full-time roles are, largely, being taken away from software testing. Nothing is confirmed on this front, but as Nintendo Switch software releases begin to wind down, the company may be looking at bolstering its hardware testing efforts in preparation for the launch of its next console.

This would mark Nintendo as the last of the big three hardware manufacturers in the games industry to undergo a period of layoffs. Prior to this, Microsoft laid off around 1,900 staffers across Xbox Game Studios teams, including Activision Blizzard and Zenimax. Sony has also laid off around 900 staff, impacting some of its UK-based studios as well as larger developers like Insomniac Games.

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Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.