Nintendo of America

  www.nintendo.com
  www.nintendo.com

Nintendo of America Reviews

Updated 16 November, 2014
Updated 16 November, 2014
80 Reviews
2.9
80 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Nintendo of America CEO Satoru Iwata
Satoru Iwata
7 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work/life balance(for most) (in 5 reviews)

  • Good benefits, nice amenities on campus, great employees to work beside (but not necessarily to work for) (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • They don't hire enough associates on as full time employees (in 4 reviews)

  • Most of the hardcore players work in Product Testing (as contractors) (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very fun, but not for the driven and ambitious

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA (US)

    I worked at Nintendo of America full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pay was good, and work/life balance was excellent. People overall are very nice. And it's a fun, safe environment. You're dealing with Mario! The most innocuous character in video games.

    Cons

    No room for growth. None. Unless someone quits, which is rare.
    Loyalty is valued 100 times more than competency (which makes sense since it's a Japanese company), but you end up having higher management that have already hit their stride a long time ago and unwilling to adapt to modern gaming process and competition.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Great company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    People are very passionate about their jobs. Most of the time, work/life balance is not bad compared to other companies in the industry.

    Cons

    Since it is a subsidiary, things move rather slowly.

    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Poor place to work, low pay, difficult management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in Redmond, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Technical Writer in Redmond, WA (US)

    I worked at Nintendo of America as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Easy commute from eastside, nice cafeteria.

    Cons

    Poor wages for technical writers, militaristic management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    An innovative and generous company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Buyer in Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Buyer in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The benefits at Nintendo are extremely generous. Not only do they offer a 401K plan, but also a pension. The longevity of the employees here is the highest I've seen. People choose to stay because of the wonderful people and management that you get to work for and with.

    Cons

    The flip-side of having longevity with the employees limits new ideas from being introduced and implemented.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Nintendo Of Japan this ain't

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Contact Center in Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Contact Center in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Nintendo of America as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great if you're 20 years old, live w/mom and dad, have no financial responsibilities, and don't need benefits, health coverage, paid time off, etc. Great "trainer" job if you're right out of high school. Can prepare you for an actual real professional office job out in the real world. Use it for this and get out. Don't plan on staying too long. Turnover is ridiculous.

    Cons

    Bad if you're not 20 years old, don't still live w/mom and dad, have financial responsibilities, and need benefits such as health coverage. Nintendo follows the Microsoft standard as in it's workforce is 95% "perma-temp". However, unlike Microsoft, they pay their perma-temps extremely poorly, well under the area average for the job type. They justify this to their temps by emphasizing that what the company isn't providing them in pay, is being made up to them by being awarded the privileged of working for a neat and fun company. Thing is, Nintendo hasn't been a "neat and fun company to work for" for many years. So this mantra comes across as hollow, placating, and disingenuous. By the way...the temp agency that staffs for Nintendo is breaking the law by not offering health coverage options. The penalty for this is a $2000 fine per employee, so they have deemed it's more cost effective for them to break the law and pay the fine than to follow the law and offer health care. The moral and ethical implications are apparently of no concern to them, or to Nintendo. This is all the polar opposite of how Nintendo Of Japan is operated, and runs counter to Japanese philosophy in general of how employees should be treated. Long-term prospects, as in being hired on as permanent, are nil. So hanging in there with the hopes that it might pay off will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Also, as Nintendo is a slowly sinking ship due to decreasing sales, things will only continue to get worse. They need to have the phrase "Abandon all hope, ye who enter" emblazoned on their on-boarding paperwork.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If working for low pay, no benefits, and being forced to take 2 months off unpaid per year (as required by WA state law for temporary workers) is such a great idea, why not lead by example and go perma-temp yourselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    A great place to work for in IT!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits!
    Great work/life balance(for most)
    Great coworkers and most management
    Lots of cool promotions going on all the time(it's a game company for crying out loud)!
    They own the Mariners so you always get a chance to watch a game for free!
    They're beginning to value training more and won't deny you training dollars
    For the amount of work you do or don't, you definitely get paid well compared to others. That's not to say some here work quite a bit which is a requirement based on the projects involved or because some people are workaholics(I'd say the latter is the case).

    Cons

    Communication can always be a challenge - it's a need to know basis type of place. With so many secret projects going around, it can be hard to "plan" for things when someone decides to drop you some information that might have been helpful awhile ago.
    It's getting bigger which means the culture is changing. It used to be a family type company where you would know everyone and everyone's willing to go the extra mile for you. Now it's becoming bigger which means more processes and things taking a lot longer than need be.
    Management is what it is. Some are great and others aren't. It's really a roll of the dice.
    Advancement can be very hard since it's still "small" in relative size.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is a hard one 'cause I understand the culture but I would communication and listening to employees some of the time might help with keeping talent and hiring new ones.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Good Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Finance in Redmond, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Finance in Redmond, WA (US)

    I worked at Nintendo of America full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Fantastic Campus, parking garage is great!! Volleyball, soccer field. Gym downstairs, good people.

    Cons

    Slow to keep up with current technology. i.e mobile/digital gaming.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have an open forum with employees and share their ideas for the future of the company. Employees are the backbone of the company. Their thoughts, ideas should be heard and put in effect.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    Fun company that has the best intentions, but stumbles along the way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redmond, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redmond, WA (US)

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Benefits are good. Health insurance plans are great; normal coverage has no deductible, or better coverage has a very low deductible. There's an on-sight gym, so no more looking for parking at the Pro Club (although that's covered too if you want it). Has 401k match (though it takes 3 years to vest) and a pension plan (rare among tech companies).

    - Bonuses twice a year, up to 30% for regular employees and up to 50% for managers and higher. No stack ranking.

    - Random perks: company-wide events throughout the year (employee contests, mini E3, company picnic, etc.); above average cafeteria; employee-only Nintendo World store, but the discounts could be better (only ~25% off retail).

    - Great working environment -- causal, laid back. And in general, coworkers are very nice. Not many jerks as I've met in other companies (but there are still a few).

    - You work at Nintendo; that in of itself is pretty awesome. If you're a gamer, you'll see people who you've read about in articles just walk right down the hall or in the cafeteria. The main building is beautifully decorated with various Nintendo characters. Definitely a "wow" factor to it all -- just don't overvalue it!

    Cons

    - Compensation is decent, but definitely not as competitive as other tech companies in the area (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, etc.)

    - The NOA offices are not autonomous -- NOA reports to Japan (NCL) and it definitely shows. Since Japan pays the bills, they have a TON of say into what happens. There's a clear air of subservience among NOA employees when it comes to NCL. If you directly work with them, it's like having an additional layer of management and red tape.

    - Lack of strong engineering leadership. Many junior engineers with need of mentors, but the more experienced employees are busy with other work!

    - Very frugal with business expenses. Whether it's a $20 software license or a requisition for a new hire, everything goes under great scrutiny and process (even moreso lately due to poor sales of the Wii U right now).

    - Because of the frugality, new hires are rare and headcount is a problematic issue. People are often on multiple projects and/or shuffled around projects quite often. To contrast to a reorg at a bigger corporation, there are small changes more often as opposed to bigger changes less often.

    - The word among people who've been here for a few years is that it's next to impossible to get fired or laid off. This can be seen as a pro, but I've chosen to classify it as a con because there are quite a few people that clearly do not pull their weight or cause harm to productivity. Job advancement is tough since all the high positions are held by people who have 10, 15, or even 20+ year seniority.

    - Surprisingly few full timers who are true, dedicated gamers. Most of the hardcore players work in Product Testing (as contractors).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To NCL: Please give NOA with more responsibilities and trust.
    To NOA: Provide low performers with growth opportunities and training, or kick them out!
    To Iwata: Please understand.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Tons of change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    -Pretty cool to work for Nintendo.
    -Decent cafeteria.
    -Company store.
    -On sight gym, soccer field, sports courts.
    -Decent benefits.
    -Lots of nice people.

    Cons

    -Many tools don't work after software "upgrade".
    -Associate employees are largely displeased and mid-management is powerless to help. Concerns brought to higher management are disregarded.
    -Change is good, but too much change too fast has created an unstable, chaotic mood.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve morale immediately before all the good reps go elsewhere.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good benefits- Your experience may vary

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Coordinator
    Former Employee - Coordinator

    I worked at Nintendo of America full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, competitive salary, casual corporate culture, Redmond campus has nice amenities, fun products.

    Cons

    I worked in two different departments, with vastly different experiences. Your VP, Director, and Manager will go a long way in determining if you like your job. A high percentage of management has been with the company for decades, which can be viewed as good or bad, and is probably a combination of both. Company runs very lean, so be prepared to put in extra hours when it gets busier. In my experience promotions were slow in coming, but again this varies from department to department. Many IT systems we used were outdated and clunky, but they were in the middle of a painfully slow upgrade process when I left so I can't say if that has improved or not. Discounts at the company store are not as good as you'll find at Microsoft or other video game companies. Be aware that contractor positions (testing, operations, contact center) do not carry nearly the same benefits or salary as a regular NOA employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a new strategy for the Wii U before those piles of cash evaporate away.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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