This Is How Nintendo Hires Game Designers

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This Is How Nintendo Hires Game Designers
Highlights
  • Nintendo looks for game designers who have interests outside of gaming
  • Some of its current stars did not play video games till joining
  • This diversity helps in making games that stand out

With the Nintendo Switch spearheading the Kyoto-based company’s return to ascendancy, the console’s unique hardware isn’t its only selling point. There have been a slew of solid titles for the Switch such as Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, aside from a host of PS4 and Xbox One ports too.

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto revealed how the company manages to keep its games fresh and diverse — by hiring those with varied interest outside of video games. To the point where some of the company’s best performers had no experience playing video games when they were hired.

“I always look for designers who aren’t super-passionate game fans,” Miyamoto said in an interview with The New York Times. “I make it a point to ensure they’re not just a gamer, but that they have a lot of different interests and skill sets.”

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It’s a different approach when compared to how other video game companies hire for talent, but with good reason. Miyamoto’s aim is to get those more likely to create new kinds of gameplay styles and mechanics instead of refining current ones.

Nonetheless, the company has been quiet on what to expect from it in 2018. With no Mario or Zelda game in sight, it will be interesting to see how it maintains momentum after having a fantastic first year, selling over 10 million Nintendo Switch consoles.

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Rishi Alwani Rishi writes about video games and tech. Legend has it he bleeds pixels. More
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