The development team for Animal Crossing: New Leaf was composed of an equal amount of men and women. The game has proved to be a breakout hit for the Nintendo 3DS in what was already an incredibly strong year in terms of software lineup, and the company attributes its success to the development team’s gender diversity.
As reported by Eurogamer, producer Katsuya Eguchi and director Aya Kyogoku discussed the development of the game during a Game Developers Conference panel. Kyogoku revealed that the entire process was open and welcoming and each member was allowed to provide input into all aspects of the design process rather than being relegated to a specific role.
“It opened us up to a variety of tastes and likings,” said Kyogoku. “Male and females and a variety of ages participated. We were able to leverage our diverse team, which couldn’t be possible if one person was making all the decisions.”
I’m not going to turn this into an article demonizing the video game industry and its unfortunate lack of gender diversity across the board. Instead, I’d rather applaud what Nintendo’s Animal Crossing development team has accomplished. The evolution of the series and the care put into the final product are easy to see.
Animal Crossing is one of my all-time favorite series. In fact, New Leaf stands as my own personal Game of the Year for 2013 and a strong candidate for Game of the Generation. Honestly, if any iteration of the Animal Crossing series was present in our Greatest Game of All Time tournament, I would cast my vote for it nearly every time.
(If you have ever wondered what my profile picture is about, it’s me, at a convention, wearing an Animal Crossing mask. So, yep!)