NattyBumppo posted this over at something aweful about his times at Nintendo:
For many, Nintendo is a mystical place out of which fun games and interesting ideas come from time to time. Some people are die-hard fans of the company, following its every move and setting up little shrines to its corporate celebrities, whether virtual (on Geocities) or corporeal (in their bedrooms). Others despise them, usually out of a deep-seated disagreement with their products and advertising, which to many gamers represent much more than mere financial decisions. Either way, Nintendo is a company in which people in this forum have invested a lot of emotions, and I count myself among you in this.
I just spent a year and a half inside the marble edifice that is Nintendo of America, as a programmer and full employee- not a tester, holed up within a partitioned prison, excluded from the company culture- and now that I am leaving the job for other (possibly greener?) pastures, I come to you with the modest gift of the stories I can tell.
I'll try to stay away from anything confidential in this thread, as I still respect Nintendo's privacy quite a bit. I think the company is a great place to work and I have very few, if any, negative things to say about them. But I'll share some interesting things:
(This one's probably obvious, but...)
The majority of people at Nintendo who are directly involved with games actually follow gaming news, websites, and forums very closely. (They're gaming geeks too!) They know when people are pissed off by new console colors, or when forums make fun of crappy 3rd-party releases, or when fans make petitions for games they want to get translated. It's not like all of the letters sent to Consumer Service are translated and mailed in a manila envelope to Mr. Iwata, but the company generally recognizes the fans' opinions. Unfortunately for some hardcore fans, most decisions are made for sound, researched financial reasons, and while fans can sway corporate opinions through buying products or by inspiring extensive media coverage, "we loved Kid Icarus make anooooother"-type pathos isn't really an effective arguing tactic, at least in the short term.
Pretty much everyone at NOA I talked to about this thinks "Ninty" is the stupidest nickname ever.
You know how Reggie Fils-Aimé, Miyamoto-san, and Iwata-san are sort of seen as dynamic, almost fictional characters in the amount of hype and respect they get in Nintendo fan communities? Yeah, well, it's like that for most of the employees too, only we have more stories to tell about them.
You'd know this if you've ever been to Redmond, but Nintendo is completely and utterly surrounded by Microsoft. There are Microsoft buildings less than a quarter mile to the north, south, east, and west of the company's HQ. There's just one single, vacant lot to the north of NOA that Nintendo owns and Microsoft's constantly trying to buy, but Nintendo won't budge. I'm convinced it's a secret NOA command outpost.
Nintendo is a big company, and while there are lots of people who deal directly with games everyday, such as testers, translators, writers, programmers, and artists, there are plenty of people there who don't work with games, and don't even play games. I met lots of people who didn't know anything about games, and they didn't care: they were there to research patents, or monitor credit accounts for retailers, or think of good benefits for employees, or find cheap flights for business trips. Tons of people don't give a poop about games, and just happen to work for a game company.
However, the Wii's launch changed this, and it was startling. The employee store was swamped with orders from people who never, EVER play games, and I saw people who were obviously getting their feet wet for the very first time diving into gameplaying and talking about how they never knew video games could be fun and easy to play. It was astounding- my first hint, personally, that the Wii might actually hit its marketing demographic.
There are a few stories I would be more than happy to tell if there's any interest, though you'll have to forgive me if I like to tell them in a long-winded fashion and don't type them up immediately, as I like to sleep a lot. Some possible stories might be:
-Nintendo Power's 200th issue anniversary party and the epic trivia contest
-Nintendo company picnics and other amazing things that employees do
-Getting drunk and meeting Mr. Miyamoto, and other E3 2006 debauchery
-The day the Wii name was announced to employees
I would like to hear the "wii name announced" story
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)