Nintendo of Europe is a subsidiary of Nintendo based in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany (formerly in Großostheim, Bavaria). They act as the Nintendo headquarters throughout the continent of Europe, though various divisions have been created throughout the many countries of Europe. Stephan Bole is the current CEO of Nintendo of Europe.
Nintendo of America, the American subsidiary of Nintendo, was the primary market for Nintendo in the late eighties and early nineties. A lawsuit with Atari threatened to bring the entire company down in the United States, and Nintendo realized that they had to direct their stakes elsewhere in the event that this happened. Nintendo had already established a presence in Europe by allowing companies such as Mattel to distribute their products there, though Nintendo felt that it was time to open up their own European subsidiary. The European market was a challenging one due to the various different countries and cultures present there, so they began to enter the different markets gradually. Ron Judy, a prominent member of Nintendo of America, was sent to Paris, France to make this happen. He explained how he and others made Nintendo of America larger than NCL and how he planned to make Nintendo of Europe larger than Nintendo of America.
The gaming industry was shocked to find that Nintendo of America actually won the case with Atari, allowing them to continue with their operations in America. The court case, however, was important in the creation of Nintendo of Europe, which today is one of Nintendo's most important markets. The creation of NoE also led to the establishment of headquarters in other countries such as Australia. Hiroshi Yamauchi was quoted as saying that the world has no borders and that he hoped that one day Nintendo would be present in all countries.
Nintendo of Europe was established in June of 1990. Two years after their conception they released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System throughout Europe. In 1993 Nintendo opened up new subsidiaries in France, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Belgium. In 1997, Nintendo of Europe released the Nintendo 64, which sold 2.3 million units in its first year. 1999 saw the launch of Pokémon in the continent. In 2000 it was announced that Nintendo of the Netherlands would become responsible for both Belgium and the Netherlands, and changed their name to Nintendo Benelux. A year later Nintendo UK opened its doors in Slough, Berkshire. In 2002 Nintendo Italia opened up on the second of January in Milan.