During the Q&A portion of Nintendo's latest financial report for the previous fiscal year, the company was asked about its gender diversity amidst the rising number of women gamers. Nintendo has always done a good job of releasing games that appeal to a wide range of gamers, and part of it is because of the "very high" number of women who work at the company, according to Nintendo.
Nintendo General Manager Shinya Takahashi said "there are many female developers in the software development departments" at Nintendo. "Especially there are many design works involved in developing software, and very high number of females among our designers." This apparently extends to child care as well. "Many of [Nintendo's female employees] have children, and we have created an environment to work with comfort even for those who have children," Takashi said.
Shigeru Miyamoto, meanwhile, specifically cited Aya Kyogoku, the project leader of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. "When I had chances to look at other development companies in Europe and the US, they give the impression that they're overwhelmingly male-dominated." Miyamoto says compared to the west, "Nintendo has a lot of female developers energetically working."
It should be noted that Nintendo didn't provide any statistics to back up the claims of its executives. But during the height of the Wii and DS in 2013, Nintendo reported half of its players were women. Although Nintendo's self-published gender breakdown report for the Switch shows an 86 percent to 11 percent male-to-female ratio for Switch ownership.
Though we prefer to see actual statistics for Nintendo's claim, it's good to see Nintendo recognize the contributions of its female employees, especially in regards to key franchises like Animal Crossing. Nintendo also fielded questions about its upcoming software releases, including revealing unannounced titles scheduled for 2019. Coincidentally, Nintendo is also slated to launch a new Animal Crossing game for the Nintendo Switch later this year.