Former Nintendo employee and 45-year-old video game artist Miura Koichi, who has previously worked on Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as a landscape artist, recently provided some insight about his time at the famous Japanese company.
He describes Nintendo as a “wonderful” place but admits it was “hell” as an “average person”. As highlighted by Automaton, Koichi’s tell-all post has now gone viral online, generating 25 million views. Despite praising the company as a “haven for geniuses” and superhumans, he mentioned how this “incredible” environment just wasn’t for him.
After realising he “wasn’t suited for the role”, Koichi decided to pursue other goals. Here’s a rough translation courtesy of Google:
“Nintendo is a great company, but I wouldn’t recommend it to others easily because it was a nest of superhumans and geniuses. As an average person, it was hell for me. Thanks to that, I realized that it wasn’t for me and went in a different direction. I was able to make up my mind to aim for this, and that is my greatest accomplishment from working at Nintendo, so I have no regrets about aiming for it and then giving up on it.
“Let me repeat this so that there is no misunderstanding, but I really thought it was a very good company and the employees were wonderful people. I was convinced that such amazing products were being produced one after another. I had a valuable experience. Thank you very much for your support. I believe that using this experience to play an active role and contribute to society will be my way of repaying the favor.”
Koichi is now a freelance CG designer and has also previously worked at video game companies like Bandai Namco and Square Enix.
In a separate post, he goes into detail about the salary he received at each company throughout his career, revealing how he jumped from around $46,000 at Square Enix to $70,000 when he joined Nintendo (thanks, VGC).
He’s no longer seeking permanent employment so he doesn’t feel he has anything to lose from revealing this information and hopes to improve transparency about working conditions at these types of companies in Japan. He also stressed how he doesn’t want to deter anyone from joining Nintendo, but just wants to share his own experience and hurdles as a way of giving back to society.
Although this might not be the most glowing account, Nintendo does appear to have a lot of appeal, with a report in September revealing it had a new employee retention rate of 98.8% in Japan, which is well above the nationwide average of 70%.