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Dan Adelman has departed from Nintendo of America

dan-adelman

Dan Adelman has been the point of contact for indie developers for some time for Nintendo of America, but that all changes today. There has been rumors and speculation about Adelman not being happy inside the company, as the company keeps a tight leash on him. Today, Adelman confirmed these rumors as true, when he announced that he will be leaving the company. According to Adelman, he became highly frustrated that he wasn’t allowed to voice his own opinion with Nintendo policing his appearances at press events.

I think people were kind of on pins and needles about anything untoward I might say. And every once in a while, I’d give an answer that people didn’t like, and some people would freak out, so they tried to scale things back. First they had me do interviews with someone from PR or marketing. Later they just decided that I shouldn’t be in the press at all anymore.

When asked what he plans to do next, Adelman confirmed that he plans on going indie. What that means is he’ll be working with indie developers to further their relationship with publishers and other business types that may not realize what an indie studio needs to be successful.

I guess the short answer is that I’m going indie! As the indie games business matures, a real need for business expertise has started to develop. I’ve been working with the indie community for almost 9 years now, and one consistent theme I’ve noticed is this tension between developers following their passion to make the game they want to make and needing to be able to make a living doing it. Unfortunately, though, there are a lot of business types who at best just don’t get what indies are trying to do, or at worst are pretty much unethical.

When asked how Nintendo feels about the announcement, Adelman confirmed that the company has been nothing but supportive of his decision.

Nintendo has been really supportive of this move. I think everyone there has known for a while that my passion has always really been about helping the indie community develop and thrive, so even though everyone was really surprised when I gave my 2-week notice, they all understood and wished me the best. I couldn’t have asked for a better sendoff.

We look forward to seeing what Mr. Adelman decides to work on next and wish him the best as well, as his time at Nintendo was peppered with several great game releases that only released on the Wii U thanks to his influence.

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  • Gabe Hoffman

    I know not be allowed to post on twitter is pretty restrictive but still it was likely done to protect their image. It wouldn’t be good if you had a higher up at your company getting into arguments with fans I wish him the best of luck

  • Madmagican

    I guess having everything planned for you and not being able to say anything’s really a bad place to be in

    The question now is how pivotal was he to indie contacts?

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      He was pretty much the person every indie who wanted to be on Wii U spoke to for a while. But after the leash, I’m not sure. Either way, this is bad news for legit indies who want to get on the eShop.

      • Gabe Hoffman

        He did say the indie team is in good hands and they could easily replace him if they wanted too

        • Daniel Gonzalez

          So to speak.

        • Rinslowe

          Yeah this is a hard fact for many to accept. Especially in large corporations. I’ve worked in two large international entities so I’ve seen some of the most seemingly critical staff relocated, resigned, fired or “other” (burnt out). And always replacements are ready and willing to take up the job in question. Normally if it’s within middle management the place is filled from within the company to mixed results – first off. And from outside the company the higher up the job goes, for various reasons. So in a middle sized entity like Nintendo I’d say they have someone in mind groomed and ready to take Adelmans place. Or they’ve spread his job over a no’ of employees within a team and restructured their approach to indies. Either way people might be surprised at how quickly things return to business as usual. Maybe even some aspects of Adelmans approach to his job will be executed with more energy and verve than he’s shown of late. Due to having one foot out of the door for some time…

      • Madmagican

        I guess time will tell us how things will work out

  • darkcreap

    Hmmmm. Not good. I hope this doesn’t harm Nintendo’s relationship with indies. I remember this controversy with an indie developer and Nintendo didn’t want Adelman to intervene. Nintendo’s policy is not to enforce individuality, but I think they should have given this guy a little bit more freedom.

    Nintendo should keep near indie developers. Some of them could be great studios in the long run and Nintendo needs third party support. I hope they are not been stubborn to the point that they are shooting themselves on the foot.

    • http://gameknights-uk.blogspot.co.uk/ abe

      He created an team to bring indie game to Nintendo and are apprenlty more than capable to replace him

    • lonewolf88

      that made no since hes never been a indie developer until now and one new indie dev is going to blow everything out of the water when he hasn’t even shown,released,or most likely even came up with his first idea for a game.. plus he was happy its not like he left all mad “couldn’t have asked for a better sendoff”

  • brian

    Secretly fired for somehow allowing “The Letter” on eShop.

    • matthew garcia

      He was secretly the one guy who created the game

      • Daniel Gonzalez

        Could be.

    • Magnus

      I dont think he is fired. Nintendo are famous for treating their employees horrible. Iwata constantly punishes the workers for his own faults. Cutting salaries when things doesnt sell due to horrible marketing or because the products are not up to the standards that consumers want. Its not strange that employees flees like rats from this sinking ship…

      • darkcreap

        Iwata cut his own salary and the salaries of the members of the board (Nintendo’s management), not common employees. I think that is consistent with the company not performing as it should. Not many executives do things like that.

        • Daniel Golightly

          I think Magnus doesn’t know what he’s talking about. In fact, Iwata and Nintendo used that salary cut to grow the company. Nintendo isn’t floundering. They’re growing at a point where sales weren’t the best so the stocks are headed down a bit. But they’re growing. That’s what a responsible executive and company does when they are not selling like they’d like to. They restructure and expand to fight. Smart business is smart business and Nintendo treats its employees exceptionally compared to other companies.

          • matthew garcia

            No iwata did the salary cut when he knew the upcoming quarter financials were gonna be horrible.

          • Daniel Golightly

            Which explains why they finalized expanding their grounds and departments for the new employees as of earlier this year right?

            The fact of the matter is that they HAVE grown. A 10 year old could do the research and see this. Yes it was because the numbers weren’t looking good, but that’s not even half the story.

          • matthew garcia

            So are u saying that if Nintendo was making profit right now they would still have cut there employees salaries. They been losing money for 3 years. Nintendo has billions of dollars what makes you think they would need to cut salary to expand. That is retarded

          • darkcreap

            I replied to him below. The item of news he links is from a Foxconn scandal. Only wage adjustment that I remember at Nintendo is from Iwata and the board when the 3DS and WiiU didn’t perform as they should. One was in 2011 and the other was in 2014. Nevertheless, I think that I remember Iwata taking another paycut due to the bad results in 2012, but I am not sure.

        • Magnus

          No, they cut the salaries of the common employees aswell. Nintendo is famous for being cruel with its employees. Thats why poor Ademan is fleeing. I think its important that the fans stand behind Nintendos working force instead of their greedy leaders.

          • darkcreap

            Sorry, but that is an item of news regarding a child labour scandal at Foxconn, a company that makes devices for Apple, Nintendo and many other electronic firms, not about Nintendo cutting his employees’ wages. It does not say anything about Nintendo’s employees having their wages cut.

            Here are two items of news regarding pay cuts:

            http://mynintendonews.com/2014/01/29/satoru-iwata-and-shigeru-miyamoto-take-pay-cuts-following-nintendos-poor-performance/

            This is from Jan this year. This was the second time Iwata took a salary cut (the first one was the previous year if I remember well). In this item of news, it says that also other members of the board (Shigeru Miyamoto among them) took also a salary cut.

            Satoru Iwata also took a salary cut when the 3DS didn’t perform well, also with the members of the board:

            http://www.wired.com/2011/07/nintendo-satoru-iwata-pay-cut/

            Also, Iwata has been criticised for NOT FIRING employees. While other companies fire people when things are not going well, he prefers to have them.

            http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.821105-Satoru-Iwata-Refuses-to-Layoff-Nintendo-Employees

            Sorry, but I still disagree with your previous statement. Can you provide some solid proof and not an item of news criticising an external company whose policies Nintendo does not control?

          • Daniel Golightly

            In fact they’ve gained employees and expanded departments. It’s smart business. It’s one of many smart ways to innovate and gain when a company starts to have financial trouble.

          • Rinslowe

            Magnus Ericsson? where have you been…?
            Have you become a true trolling pessimist? Ouch.

          • felony211662

            well, at least all of microsoft’s ex-box entertainment employees still HAVE their jobs…..

          • felony211662

            an article fom 2012 about the UPCOMING wii U? Well we better be careful of THAT system… Also what is with the new username?

      • matthew garcia

        There is a article on ign right now about how Nintendo’s management is very unhappy and are conflicting with iwata right now

        • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

          That’s just a rumor and it’s in fact already been debunked. Fools from NeoGaf who were having fun. Don’t you read the news, or are you feigning ignorance?

        • Rinslowe

          The origin of that article is Neogaf. So there is no real source. Most sites have been calling false on that rumour for the last couple of days.
          Quite funny how the majority of rumours originate from Gaf. It really is ruining what started as a decent experience in sharing gaming related information.

      • http://macromanjr.blogspot.com/ Brian Lockett

        You got some credible source to back that claim?

        • Magnus

          I am that credible source

      • Tsijiari

        then i suppose that sony is even worse by fiiring employees involved in one of its best ips, like naughty dog employees

  • http://gameknights-uk.blogspot.co.uk/ abe

    Err why hasn’t this article mentioned Adelman’s indie team whose been contacting indies and securing games?

    “Adelman says that Nintendo’s indie program is in good hands, and that he built a team working with developers and that he will likely be replaced. “

  • Rinslowe

    When employees aren’t happy there is always a story to tell. Not to say that his side of the story isn’t how he sees it. But usually there’s more than one truth to any given situation. People not being happy at work sometimes negatively heightens things that in times of being generally happy on the job are more easily overlooked. I’m not defending Nintendo here, I’m almost sure many of their practices are still kinda archaic in a way. They’re a work in progress putting it lightly. But yeah. Lets not also pretend like Adelman hasn’t seen an opportunity to branch out into a growing field and take advantage of his experience within it. With more direct financial rewards and freedom than he’s been awarded as an employee…
    Just a thought.

  • Devesh

    I wonder, eventhough he is working for the indie games, is he going to push them to Nintendo, or some other stupid dumb company with horrible games like KNACK or HALO

    • matthew garcia

      Probably to mobile phones where they would probably make more money

    • 00EpicGamer00

      You see, the thing about Indie developers, is they can do whatever they want. Want it on Wii U? Okay. Want it on just Xbox and PC? Okay. Want it on just PlayStation? Okay. You get what I’m saying? Also, please refrain from “bashing” other companies games and companies in general. Those game aren’t horrible as a whole. They may be horrible to you, but that doesn’t mean the company responsible is “stupid” or “dumb” just because you think the game is bad.

      • Devesh

        umm…this is a Nintendo site….so…they suck ass….

        • 00EpicGamer00

          Dude, that’s the absolute worst excuse I’ve ever heard. Just…wow. This is a NEWS site about the Wii U. It’s not like a fan service site, like Nintendolife. No, they do not, how you say, “suck ass.” Sony and Microsoft are good companies. Just like Nintendo. God, I hate fanboys. It’s people like you, that give Nintendo fans of a whole a bad name. In fact your the kind of people responsible for all the trolls Nintendo sites get. No wonder we get trolled so much.

          • Devesh

            the hell are you talking about. I love Nintendo, and I hate other companies becuz of the fanboys. EVERYTIME I SAY I OWN A WII U THEY LAUGH AT ME, WHY BECUZ THE OTHER CONSOLES ARE MORE POWERFUL. OTHER CONSOLES HAVE NOTHING SPECIAL. THEY ARE STUPID. I WOULD FINE IF THE INOVATED SOMETHING, BUT THEY DIDNT. The other companies are not good, they only care about MONEY. Nintendo does not, if they did, they would scrape Wii U, but they didn’t. Its people like who try to be the wise one yet they don’t know about the truth

          • 00EpicGamer00

            You’re a huge fanboy though. That’s not good, lol. Would you care to elaborate on who exactly “they” are? I assume it’s Sony and Microsoft fans. But, I think you’re running into trolls. Also, Nintendo is in it for the money as well. Sure, maybe Nintendo is a little bit more “caring” to their fans but that doesn’t mean Nintendo doesn’t care about money either. After all, game design is a JOB! Allot of people tend to forget that! Also, if Nintendo didn’t care about money, why did they discontinue the Virtual Boy? Or the add on disk drive for the N64?

          • Devesh

            First of all, before reading your point. Im just gonna say Im sorry and end this fight.

          • 00EpicGamer00

            I don’t really understand the sudden change in your tone, but…okay. I just don’t like people that think it’s okay to hate other companies just because they’re on there favorite company centric website. It’s okay to like a certain company more than another, but that doesn’t mean they have to go all retarded.

          • Devesh

            Yes, but you should also look at their back story as well….literally…im one of the two people in my whole city that owns a wii u, the other person has it because of their little brother, but he wanted an xbox. I cant tell how much that makes me sad.

          • 00EpicGamer00

            Okay, just….how exactly would I look at their back stories? I don’t know their names, I don’t know where they live, I don’t know anything about them. I can’t just Google “Devesh” and a whole analysis comes up. You never mentioned anything about your “back story.” How am I suppose to know?

            Also, I guess I’m just not as caring about what people do, but I don’t see how an older brother getting his younger brother a Wii U. And the older one wanting an Xbox is “bad.” At least he was nice and got his little brother a Wii U.

          • Devesh

            Virtual had many reasons:
            First – they themselves didn’t see it as successful
            second – reports were coming that it hurt their eyes
            third – it was costly and they couldn’t reduce the price for consumers
            fourth – there weren’t enough games for it.

          • Rinslowe

            You do realise you’re talking to yet another proxy account. Of one of our favourite trolls here at Wii U Daily. Same lame low comment count accounts. Usually brand new. Springing up with the same old dribble. And here you lads are lapping it up. The guy sometimes goes for positive Nintendo trolling to make the user base look bad or anti Nintendo tolling to rile up the fans…

          • Rich Cole

            I’ve had a Wii U since launch and sometime in the next few weeks I will be getting an Xbone. Anyone who hates my choice or laughs at it can go suck a lemon. I’ll be off playing my games.

          • Yen

            Fact is Nintendo gets hate on a lot by other fanboys. I don’t think what you said is wrong, just phrase is better next time. It’s no reason to act like that yourself though, be better than the fanboys. I like Nintendo because to me they’re the most unique of the three consoles every generation. There are flaws in all of them but Wii U has great games that makes up for it and more than makes up for the difference in power.

          • D.M.T

            I would never say that Microsoft is a good company. They are one of the worst just like EA but I like the Xbox One, it’s a good console.

          • 00EpicGamer00

            I’m just trying to be fair, lol. If I said “Sony and Nintendo are the best, but Microsoft sucks.” That would be contradicting the point I was trying to make.

        • D.M.T

          Dude shut the fuck up. You’re making us look bad.

          • matthew garcia

            Cmoooon take it easy on the guy

        • thedeciderU

          GTFO. now.

    • Shota

      halo isn’t horrible at all. its a great series. knack was mark cerny warming up for ps4 development. i’m sure he learned the mistakes. I mean he is the creator of crash and spyro. an those where wonderful games.

      • Devesh

        IF HE WAS A GOOD GAME DEVELOPER, HE WOULD HAVE NEVER MADE A MISTAKE, LIKE MIYAMOTO. MIYAMOTO IS A TRUE GAME DEVELOPER. GOOD GAME DEVELOPER HAVE ENOUGH KNOWLEDGE OF 30 YEARS OF GAMING TO MAKE A GOOD GAME. MIYAMOTO HAD NO EXPERIENCE, YET ME MADE MARIO!
        #miyamotoisagod

        • Shota

          Dude calm down no need to be a fanboy about it

          • Devesh

            I know Im sorry, just saying that he shouldn’t have made a mistake.

          • Shota

            The game was not bad but not good either. Controls everything was nice. But it became repetitive so fast. I would give it a mediocre rating.

        • thedeciderU

          when the hell is your summer break over?

          • 00EpicGamer00

            If he has the same “schedule” as me, then (from the time this comments was posted) in 14 days.

      • http://obaforums.wordpress.com DragonSilths

        Halo is dead. 343issues killed it with Halo 4.

        • Shota

          To tell the truth. I didnt like 4 at all. I have some Hope for 5.

    • Merry_Blind

      Halo is awesome (though it’s not as good as it used to be), but yeah, Knack is crap.

  • Will.F. Martinez

    I hope this doesn’t harm Nintendo relationship with indie’s developers

    • matthew garcia

      Nintendo has started bad relationships with 3rd parties since n64 now they wanna go bad with Indies. Nintendo really does wanna keep it all in the family

      • http://gameknights-uk.blogspot.co.uk/ abe

        Adelman set up a team for luring indies 3 years ago and have been doing a lot of the work over the last year or so. Its not as much as a problem. Should also note he didn’t quit because of twitter he just saw a better opportunity working on his own

      • D.M.T

        Dude your comments are always so ignorant. Adelman is leaving Nintendo because he wants to, it’s not because Nintendo wants to have a bad relationship with indies.

        • matthew garcia

          I doubt he left cuz he just wanted to. He just mentioned they weren’t letting him do his job. Obviously he wasn’t happy with Nintendo s direction.

          • D.M.T

            From what I understand, Nintendo didn’t allow him to speak his mind which is kinda understandable because he was working for a big ass company. They obviously allowed him to do his job for the most part or else the Wii U wouldn’t be getting so many indie games. There are like 200 indie games coming to the Wii U. He’s leaving or he left already because he wants more freedom, that’s why.

          • matthew garcia

            Well if he was the go to guy that the Indies would go to as stated in this article wouldn’t he be the main reason that 200 indie games are coming to Wii u

          • D.M.T

            You repeated what I said in other words lol. Yes he’s the main reason why Wii U is getting 200 indie games. So yeah Nintendo allowed him to do his job, they just didn’t want him to speak his mind because sometimes he would say things that some people don’t like.

          • matthew garcia

            Well it seems like they lost a good employee. I understand Nintendo not wanting him to speak but they have had there problems and maybe what he wanted to speak up on was true

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            Probably about how poor Nintendo’s decisions have been with third party.

          • matthew garcia

            I’m sure that’s what it was. Probably was just trying to help Nintendo not make the same mistakes they made with 3rd party and they shut him up

          • Rinslowe

            “From what I understand, Nintendo didn’t allow him to speak his mind”

            It’s kind of understandable. When you’re an employee, it’s ok to speak your mind in the right direction. And if you’re playing your cards right, that means in the direction where your input is taken seriously. But employers don’t pay their staff to go around speaking against their policies to the public. Or publicly stating their unhappiness to the masses. That’s usually at the point where said employee has already had enough of not getting their way. For better or worse. And feels it’s time they took their own direction. Basically, Adelmans idea’s and Nintendo’s were no longer compatible. So it was for the best of both parties, most likely, that he chose to leave when he did.
            If he banked on the right choice, that should mean as you say – more financial and creative freedom.
            Nintendo has their policies, good or bad, who really knows right now, lol. But they won’t skip too many beats at the loss of Adelman. Despite platitudes from both sides. And a-typical speeches towards respect and gratitude etc…
            Just my opinion.

      • Rinslowe

        Why do they want to “go bad” with indies? Where’s the connection?

        A guy leaves a job because he wants to room to breath, make more money and steer his own ship (no doubt his major motivation looking at his reasons for leaving) and in your mind that somehow = “A company wants to “go bad” with indies”, lol
        Next week you’ll be complaining how Nintendo has too many “indies”
        o_O

        • matthew garcia

          I’m sure next week I’ll be complaining about another delay or something. It will definitely be something else next week for sure.

  • Nintenjoe82

    Nintendo are going to replace him with Satoru Shibata after the fantastic job hes has done with EU marketing :)

    • Devesh

      no way….

  • Agent721

    This cannot be good news.

  • Devesh

    I HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF HIM, WHY DO WE CARE???

  • greengecko007

    It seems to me like a simple case of leaving a job that wasn’t a good fit for him. He openly criticized the Wii U’s region locking on twitter, which understandably, Nintendo of America does not want one of their own employees pointing out flaws in their product. Adelman wants the freedom to voice his opinion about the gaming industry, and that’s fine. But that’s not something that you can do when you work for a major company in that industry. That doesn’t mean his job at Nintendo of America was bad, just that it wasn’t for him. I hope he finds success in what he does next.

  • bistricky

    Bye Dan …..
    :D

  • Purple

    Maybe he left because he clearly had no work to do. I meanits well its well known Nintendo has no 3rd party support

  • Rich Cole

    I get he worked for a big company with it’s own “views” but this guy was in direct communication with customers and clients, for him not to sympathise or relate to them would appear arrogant or unapproachable.

    He did what I would have done. All the big companies have problems, but we like to know they are at least aware of them. DLC on disk, online passes, and the rest of the back log of complaints. If companies couldn’t or didn’t change bad ideas we’d still be stuck with them.

  • Chase U

    Never heard of him…

  • gamesplayswill

    To the people who think this is a GIANT catastrophe: Let me show you the door.

  • DC777

    Well that sucks but hopefully indie relations won’t suffer.

    As far as Nintendo keeping a tight leash, well that may not be for everyone but who can blame them after #dealwithit.

  • A – Kuma

    so basically he was saying shit he shouldn’t have, so they told him to shut the fuck up, and he quit. Gotcha

    • MujuraNoKamen

      If by that you mean he criticised Nintendo’s retarded policies and they were too stubborn to listen so he left, then yeah.

  • MujuraNoKamen

    So thanks to Nintendo’s stone-age ideas and stubbornness to make a change, they lost an intelligent, forward thinking employee. Great!