The History Of Entertainment Analysis Development

The house that built Mario and Link was initially created in 1984 when Hiroshi Yamauchi decided to create a new development department focusing around star designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Former head of Toei Animation, Hiroshi Ikeda, served as General Manager and was in charge of recruiting talent athat would work alongside Shigeru Miyamoto. The company drafted a couple of key graphic designers including Takashi Tezuka, Tadashi Sugiyama and Kenji Miki to begin developing a several games for the Famicom, Vs. Arcade, and Nintendo Entertainment System. Hiroshi Ikeda also convinced Minoru Maeda from Toei Animation to work for Nintendo and transfer his experience with animation into designing video games. With the arcade platform dwindling, the Research & Development 1 Division shifted most of their resources on the booming hand held market. This catapulted the Shigeru Miyamoto and EAD to become the lead developer of software for Nintendo consoles. Hiroshi Ikeda’s creative team was ambitious and full of ideas, but was lacking the necessary programming muscle to make it all happen. Fortunately Toshihiko Nakago and his small company especializing in CAD tools was very familiar with the Famicom chipset and was working in the same building with Masayuki Uemura and Research & Development 2 Division on system development tools. When Nintendo's Research & Development 2 Division and Toshiho Nakago's SRD began jointly developing and porting software over to the Famicom, Shigeru Miyamoto took the opportunity to lure Nakago away from R&D2, to help Miyamoto create his second in-house Entertainment Analysis & Development game, ExciteBike. The original EAD team became forged with Shigeru Miyamoto, Takashi Tezuka, Kenji Miki, and Minoru Maeda handling design. Koji Kondo, Akito Nakatsuka, and Soyo Oka handling sound and music. And Toshihiko Nakago and SRD handling main programming.

By the late 1980's, the phenomenal sales of Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda fueled the expansion of Entertainment Analysis & Development Division with neophyte apprentices like Hideki Konno, Katsuya Eguchi, Kensuke Tanabe, Takao Shimizu, Tatsuya Hishida, and several others. In preparation of the Super Nintendo, a new programming team was formed in-house to work parallel the traditional SRD programming team. While Nakago-san and SRD were still the main programming team for the Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda titles, this new EAD programming team created the technology for a new breed of Entertainment Analysis & Development Division games like F-Zero and Super Mario Kart. The same programming team would cooperate with Argonaut to create the FX hardware technology featured in games like Star Fox and Stunt Race FX, and continued on the foundation of the 3D technology research to program Super Mario 64. This programming group would later on be officially named the EAD Technology Development Department.

With the onset of the Nintendo 64 generation, marked a new era of designers putting their stamp on the world of Nintendo. Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka had become comfortable with tenure in their managerial roles, opening the gates for a new wave of directors leading the design documents. Hideki Konno, Katsuya Eguchi, Eiji Aonuma, Tadashi Sugiyama, Takao Shimizu and Yoshiaki Koizumi took full charge of several landmark games including Mario Kart 64, Wave Race 64, Star Fox 64, Pokemon Stadium, 1080 Snowboarding, F-Zero X, and others.

Progressing with the continuing expansion of Nintendo Company Limited, and the Entertainment Analysis & Development Division, was the 2003 announcement of the Entertainment Analysis & Development Division splitting into two departments, one remaining in Kyoto, and a new budding branch in Tokyo.

In 2004, Nintendo made official the new structure of the EAD Software Development Department Kyoto and EAD Software Development Department Tokyo, each composed of small development governments working independently on projects lead by newly promoted Section Managers and Producers. EAD Software Development Department Kyoto was broken into five development groups, and a sound development group. The manager and producers of each of the corresponding software deverlopmnent groups were, Hideki Konno, Katsuya Eguchi, Eiji Aonuma, Hiroyuki Kimura, and Tadashi Sugiyama. While the manager of the sound development group was none other than Koji Kondo. The groups are each comprised of multiple teams, most often working on two projects simultaneously. Most recently, the groups have also been involved with co-development ventures with partner development companies.

EAD Software Development Department Kyoto currently houses over five hundred personnel and between the five main development groups, there are over ten projects in active development. Some of the games and franchises currently developed within the department are Pikmin, New Super Mario Bros., Big Brain Academy, Mario Kart, Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wii Music, Wii Play, Animal Crossing, Steel Diver, Nintendogs, and The Legend of Zelda.

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