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Nintendo contractors criticize company culture and treatment

Contractors say they're doing the work of full-timers but get paid & treated worse; Fils-Aimé denies it was a problem under his tenure

Contractors for Nintendo of America (NOA) have described a growing sense of discontent due to the disparity between how the company treats themselves and its full-time workers, according to an IGN report in which the outlet spoke with a dozen current and former employee sources.

For example, the publisher is reportedly reluctant to convert and/or hire full-time staffers, which has resulted in no clear career path for contractors to become NOA employees and led to increased turnover for contractors as well.

The company itself reported a turnover of 4.7% as of last year, as full-time employees commonly stay on for years or even decades. However, sources said contractors commonly exit the company in under a year.

One source said a death in the family forced her to return home partway through an interview process for a full-time position, which led to the interviewer telling her she had "attendance issues."

IGN's report notes some past business decisions that the company made were not well received among its staff, such as the unexpected shuttering of its Redwood City office location.

"The sense that I got was that a lot of people were working from home successfully, then Nintendo closed the Redwood City office and said none of you can stay in California, you have to move here or leave," a source told IGN.

"And that was just another nail in the coffin of the backward, antiquated way of thinking about a company."

With regards to growing discontent, sources also said that part-timer restrictions to company events, activities, and even attendance policies have led to them feeling like second-class citizens.

"All I can say is that is not at all the culture that I left as I retired from Nintendo"

Reggie Fils-Aimé, former NOA president

The report also includes comment from former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé, which IGN was interviewing separately about his new book.

Fils-Aimé said that during his tenure the firm had "routinely" hired contractors as full-timers.

"I've read the same stories, this division between contract and full-time employee. All I can say is that is not at all the culture that I left as I retired from Nintendo," Fils-Aimé said.

The IGN report follows two weeks after a similar report from Kotaku, which alleged that the Mario maker maintained cyclical contract work for low wages, expected overtime, and a lack of benefits.

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Jeffrey Rousseau avatar
Jeffrey Rousseau: Jeffrey Rousseau joined in March 2021. Based in Florida, his work focused on the intersectionality of games and media. He enjoys reading, podcasts, staying informed, and learning how people are tackling issues.
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