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Zelda producer says “staff comes first” when making games, Nintendo’s work culture focuses on flexibility

Posted on June 18, 2019 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

Last week, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser discussed crunch and how the company wants its staff to have a “good work-life balance”. Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma has now chimed in on the subject as well.

When asked about his team’s stance on overtime, Aonuma stated that the “staff comes first, and I always want to think about it when creating a game.” His full words:

“When creating a game, game development is all about the people. So if one of them or any of them aren’t well, that definitely affects the game and overall quality, and that’s just not good. We always try to think flexibility about delivery dates, and in the past I’ve apologized for delays. That’s because staff comes first, and I always want to think about it when creating a game.”

Aonuma also noted the following when asked if he worked long periods of overtime on games such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild:

“Overall as a Nintendo work culture, we focus on flexibility. And so even the staff have that flexibility of when to focus, and use their energy on something, or they have a little bit of leeway in their work schedule, don’t have to exert themselves so much. They can maintain that balance themselves. Especially for Breath of the Wild, it was the same, and we focused on the staff. We didn’t have anybody be exerted or anything like that, and I think we were able to achieve our goal.”

Aonuma said that his day-to-day duties tend to be “a little bit different.” These days, he’s “been able to go home pretty early, so it’s been good.”


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