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Former Japanese Nintendo employee says it’s ‘a haven for geniuses’ but ‘hell for an average person’

A former Nintendo employee who worked for the company in Japan says he thought it was “hell” for “average people”.

Koichi Miura is an artist who’s been working in the industry since 1999. He previously worked on Ridge Racer V, R: Racing Evolution and Time Crisis 5 for Bandai Namco, as well as Kingdom Hearts HD II.8 and Kingdom Hearts 3 for Square Enix.

Miura is credited as a landscape artist on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom but, as reported by Automaton, he recently posted on X (formerly Twitter) to say he had quit the company because he felt it was only suitable for people who were abnormally gifted at game devlopment.

“Nintendo is an incredible company, but I wouldn’t lightly recommend it to others,” Miura said (translated by Automaton).

“It was like a haven for geniuses and superhumans, but for an average person like me, it was hell. However, thanks to this, I was able to realise that I wasn’t suited for the role and found the confidence I needed to pursue other goals.

“This was the biggest accomplishment that working for Nintendo brought me. I don’t have a single regret for having aspired to work there , getting the job, and then ultimately quitting it.”

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To avoid any misunderstanding, Miura reiterated that he felt Nintendo was “a really good company”, that “the staff were wonderful people”, and that he was “amazed they could produce such great products one after the other”.

In a separate tweet, Miura shared that he earned less than $40,000 at Bandai Namco between 1999 and 2015, that he earned more than $46,000 working at Square Enix, and that when he moved to Nintendo in 2019 he started earning over $70,000.

Miura noted that game industry salaries aren’t often revealed in Japan, but as a freelancer no longer looking for permanent employment, he thought it would be helpful to reveal his salary information to others in the hope that it would improve working conditions and transparency.