Nintendo : Pokémania pitfalls

A Japanese video game maker’s careers page fails to take advantage of American enthusiasm for Pokémon Go.

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The feature

Pokémon Go – an ‘augmented reality’ game in which players try to collect virtual characters in real-world locations on their smartphones – was the most downloaded app in the US last week, and has added £5.4bn to Nintendo’s share price since its game debuted on July 6th.

The Pokémon craze, aside from inspiring increasingly bizarre stories in the media, is likely to have got many more Americans interested in working for Nintendo. Searching ‘nintendo jobs’ on Google leads visitors to the ‘Career Opportunities’ page, which can also be reached via links in the footer of

Here they will find a notably rudimentary and old-fashioned site, with links to the history, jobs, FAQs, etc; and a left menu including ‘Manuals’ and ‘Health & Safety Precautions’.

The takeaway

Japanese companies traditionally do not prioritise corporate communications, but this is the most extreme example we have come across of a missed opportunity to impress a core audience online. The opportunity cost is multiplied in this case because of the spike in publicity for Nintendo, and the ease with which Pokémon hunters can switch from the game to the jobs page on their smartphones.

Searching for jobs on a corporate website can probably never compare in excitement with collecting virtual creatures in the real world. However, Nintendo’s careers page, which could have been designed in the 1990s, does nothing at all to enthuse career-minded Americans.
First published 13 July, 2016
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