A rare look inside the world of NCL

The following information comes from Claude Moyse, a German translator that worked for Nintendo of Europe in the 90s…

Regarding NCL, you’ll have to know that they have a very strict and relatively conservative atmosphere there. Like “Bureoucracy, Incorporated”. An example: There were three company doorways. Entrance number 1 led through a big lobby with a marble floor. A receptionist was sitting somewhere in a corner and she explained to me that this representative entrace was only for Mr. Yamauchi and his personal guests. All the other Nintendo employees were not allowed to go through this hall. Entrace number 2 was for the managers and the company executives. And then there was entrace number 3 for all the “normal” people. Work began at 9 a.m. Hundreds of people (the Japanese are punctual) were flowing towards the building. Interesting to note: Managers and “normal” people arrive at different speeds. Managers go more slowly and workers have to hurry up and run faster. Pretty funny to look at. That has something to do with Japanese culture – as an employee, you have to show how dedicated you are and that you’re below the managers in the hierarchy. Anyway, once you’re in the building, you have to change your clothes first. For men, there’s beige Nintendo overalls, for women, there’s beige blouses. The offices itself look like battery cages, even Mr. Miyamoto had a small slot in an open-plan office…although he’d probably have gotten more room (and has gotten by now), but back then, he wanted to stay down to the basics. The official working time begins with Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”. And as if they were robots, everyone begins to work right away, highly concentrated and with an empty expression on their faces.

Now, this is an account of how Nintendo was back in the 90s. For all we know, the atmosphere may have changed a million times over since then. Something tells me that it hasn’t though!


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