A career in game development can be tremendously stressful, and, at its 82nd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Nintendo was asked how it takes care of its employees and how it plans to continue to improve its working conditions.
“We recognize that in order to achieve a good work-life balance, we need to create ways of working that meet the needs of – and work for – each and every individual. To offer a diverse work environment, we have introduced a flexible working schedule and have policies in place that encourage the use of paid vacation. We also have made progress in certain initiatives which include improvements in benefits provided to temporary employees, allowing second- and part-time jobs, and to further expand existing structures for childcare and caregiving,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa explained in response.
“We also abolished female employee-specific uniforms several years ago, and starting this year we moved to a more flexible dress code that allows employees to choose clothes suitable to their workplace. You may see employees wearing jackets with the Nintendo logo in media articles. We still keep these jackets to remind us that Nintendo is a company that creates products. We’re also discussing strategies to promote the active involvement of women in the workplace.”
Fellow and representative director Shigeru Miyamoto adds: “Thank you for asking such an important question. When we started making games, we had only a few dozen people in our team. Now we work with thousands. However, even with the number of people working together increasing, I think it is still very important that everyone on the team is engaged. I think that a team functions best when each and every person on the team understands their role, and it is the responsibility of the game directors to ensure this is the case during development. Enabling daily active engagement with their work also connects to providing emotional support for each team member.
“In addition, roles often become more divided as companies and organizations grow. However, at Nintendo, we encourage people to act beyond their roles, while looking at the overall picture. We do this because when you try new things, the way you have always done things before might not work anymore, and it is always better to have practiced starting something from scratch. I think this is part of the Nintendo DNA. Every year, I give a lecture to our new employees fresh out of college and our mid-career hires just joining Nintendo. In this lecture, we talk about things like the Nintendo DNA and our unique ways of engaging in work.”