Nintendo has announced the acquisition of Dynamo Pictures, an animation studio in Tokyo that collaborated on several animated Pikmin shorts that premiered on the Nintendo 3DS. Renamed Nintendo Pictures, the studio will continue to work on the “development of visual content utilizing Nintendo IP,” according to the company’s press release.
“Nintendo has decided to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding shares (excluding treasury shares) of Dynamo Pictures and make it a wholly owned subsidiary to strengthen the planning and production structure of visual content in the Nintendo group.”
Besides Pikmin, Dynamo Studios has worked on motion capture and animation work for games and anime. This includes contributions to Yuri On Ice, Persona 5, and Nintendo’s Metroid: Other M. The acquisition is set to finalize on October 3 following “pending satisfaction of all relevant terms and customary closing conditions.”
It will be interesting to see what comes from Nintendo Pictures, mainly because there isn’t a lot of precedent for Nintendo acquiring companies. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has traditionally worked closely with independent companies without bringing them under the umbrella. In one case, a close Nintendo partner declared bankruptcy out of the blue, which might explain why the Big N has started to rethink its strategy and acquire several developers in the past year and change.
Nintendo’s animation aspirations don’t stop with their new subsidiary. They have a working relationship with Illumination, the studio behind the popular Minions franchise. The animated Chris Pratt-led Super Mario Bros. movie spawned from that partnership will release in 2023, barring any future delays.