Nintendo of America

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Nintendo of America Reviews

Updated Jul 18, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

2.9 73 reviews

50% Approve of the CEO

Nintendo of America CEO Satoru Iwata

Satoru Iwata

(2 ratings)

54% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

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

  • Really smart, passionate people, work life balance encouraged, a place where balancing children and work might be more easy than other places(in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Only part-time, no full-time offer in my location(in 4 reviews)

  • Incredibly toxic work environment where contractors are told in no uncertain terms that Nintendo does not think of them as people, let alone employees(in 4 reviews)

73 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

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

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Redmond, WA (US)

    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 Senior ManagementTo 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Tons of change

    Customer Service Representative (Current Employee)

    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 Senior ManagementImprove morale immediately before all the good reps go elsewhere.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good benefits- Your experience may vary

    Coordinator (Former Employee)

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

    ConsI 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 Senior ManagementFind a new strategy for the Wii U before those piles of cash evaporate away.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    STAY AWAY GAME TESTERS!

    Associate Game Tester (Former Employee) Redmond, WA (US)

    ProsIt's great for someone who can handle being let go for a week or two before another project comes in and who has no financial responsibilities.

    ConsManagement is AWFUL. Sexual harassment, blackmail, bullying, lying and manipulation and the way they treat females is just illegal.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFire yourselves and get new blood in there that have better ethics.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Okay company to work for

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Redmond, WA (US)

    ProsGood benefits. Flexible work schedule.

    ConsNo opportunity for growth. Once you are in a role, that is where you stay.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Fun in theory

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Redwood City, CA (US)

    ProsFun products and good people to work with and good work life balance

    ConsNo growth opportunity, can't figure out what to change to adapt to changing consumer, LOTS of process issues

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to up the morale and not just with rah-rah speeches

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    There's a reason why people spend their entire career here.

    Production Specialist (Current Employee) Redmond, WA (US)

    ProsAMAZING benefits, bonuses twice a year, pension plan, it's Nintendo.

    ConsJapanese owned company. Lots of red tape and lost in translation frustration.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to seriously cross-train departments.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Quality Assurance

    Quality Assurance (Former Employee) Redmond, WA (US)

    ProsReally awesome opportunities for overtime. You get to test games all day and sort of get an idea for game development life cycles. They definitely reward you for quality work and dedication to your job.

    ConsSometimes feels like they will hire just about anyone for a QA position and length of a contract may not be entirely stable as a source of income.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive more opportunities for advancement and permanent positions.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Intimidating, but overall fun and informative.

    Bilingual Product Specialist (Current Employee) Redmond, WA (US)

    Prosgreat for entry level position, great people.

    Conscontractor seems inflexible with allowing for upward mobility/salary improvements.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter hours

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    Micromanaged, overworked and bait /switch

    (Former Employee) Redmond, WA (US)

    ProsSalary was pretty competitive and there was the potential for a large yearly bonus - but I didn't expect to actually see a dime of it.

    ConsHealth insurance was ridiculously expensive (> $550/month for the employee), extreme micromanagement was the norm, and work/life balance was absolutely non-existent (my management literally expected 14+ hour days). Absolutely terrible culture - toxic, hostile, and devoid of any redeeming qualities. Was repeatedly lied to during the interview and I felt a total bait/switch from when I interviewed to when I started and resigned shortly thereafter.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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