While the rest of the video game industry is consolidating, Nintendo is spreading out. The Switch manufacturer has finally responded to massive moves by competitors Sony and Microsoft by announcing a $39.8 million land deal to break ground on a new R&D office. Whatever it takes to finally port Mother 3.
“Along with the R&D investments and capital investments, Nintendo believes acquiring and utilizing this land will carry an important role on reinforcing its R&D,” the company wrote in its announcement today. Last month, Nintendo revealed the Switch had finally outsold the Wii, with over 103 million hybrid handhelds currently out in the wild, but it still considers the console to be in the middle of its life-cycle following 2021’s OLED hardware refresh. On the back of that success, Nintendo last year outlined plans for major investments moving forward.
What will this new building be called? In classic Nintendo fashion its current working title is “Corporate Headquarters Development Center, Building No. 2.” However, the company said it won’t be completed until sometime in 2027. If everything goes according to plan, the SimCity-looking structure will have taken less time to build than Breath of the Wild 2.
The new office will be located right next to Nintendo’s existing headquarters in Kyoto, Japan, and will be built on a 107,946-square-foot site which previously hosted a Foundation Support Factory and Disaster Prevention Center. For comparison, that’s roughly the size of two football fields. The roughly 6,500-person company currently has four other offices in the country. Last year it announced its former card manufacturing plant would be turned into a Nintendo museum.
The announcement comes as rivals throughout the gaming industry pour out their coffers to make big investments and acquire new studios. Microsoft is currently waiting for regulators and shareholders to sign off on a $69 billion deal to take over Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard, and Sony recently announced a $3.6 billion acquisition of Destiny 2 maker Bungie. Sony also yesterday announced it was funneling an additional cool $1 billion into Epic Games as the Fortnite company sets its sights on conquering new metaverses.
In this context, $39.8 million seems like a rounding error, though it is still more than double Activision Blizzard’s recent settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for years of sexual harassment and discrimination.