Nintendo Japan talks about ‘low’ proportion of female hardware developers



Nintendo has acknowledged that there is a lower percentage of women working in hardware development compared to men, but is also hopeful of a possible future change, according to a Nintendo Q&A released on Friday.

Although the number of women playing games is increasing year by year, female game developers continue to be outnumbered by male developers in the video game industry.

Nintendo director and senior executive Shinya Takahashi noted that Nintendo has many female developers in its software development departments.

“There are a lot of female developers in software development departments,” Takahashi said. “In particular, there is a lot of design work involved in software development, and a very high number of women among our designers. Many of them have children, and we have created a comfortable working environment even for those with children. I think that [Nintendo] is a great place to work where women can participate actively and find satisfaction in their work.

Nintendo director and senior executive Ko Shiota pointed out that the gap is in engineering professions, such as hardware and systems development.

“It’s a common problem in Japan that there isn’t a high percentage of women in engineering professions like hardware development and systems development,” Shiota said. “And it is true in our company that compared to software development, the percentage of women working in hardware development is low. “

Shigeru Miyamoto, representative director and colleague of Nintendo, noted that the director of the “Animal Crossing” series, a popular IP address for Nintendo, is female. Miyamoto further pointed out that, based on her impressions, Nintendo has “a lot” of female developers compared to “other development companies in Europe and the United States.”

As Nintendo continues to increase sales of its console and Switch software, it may consider pushing to hire more female developers. Miyamoto, Shiota and Takahashi didn’t specifically say this was a priority for the company.

Shiota, always, had a prospect of hope to share for the future of Nintendo.

“However,” Shiota said. “Nintendo’s work includes a unique technology approach, so I think the proportion of female employees could potentially change in the future.”


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