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Aya Kyogoku is a game developer currently working for Nintendo who is most known for her work on the Animal Crossing series. She was born in Osaka, Japan and got her start in the gaming industry working as a project assistant for Atlus. In 2003, she was hired by Nintendo and would become the first ever female game designer to work for Nintendo EAD, the division of the company responsible for titles such as Mario, Zelda, Starfox, Animal Crossing and Pikmin.

She began her work at Nintendo as a scriptwriter for the Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures and Twilight Princess. She would later become a key figure in directing and producing many titles in the Animal Crossing series including City Folk, New Leaf, Happy Home Designer, Amiibo Festival, and Pocket Camp. She is currently the Co-Producer of the Animal Crossing franchise alongside Hisashi Nogami.


Here are some quotes from her panel at the Game Developers Conference:

“When I was starting in the game industry, it wasn’t uncommon to be the only woman on the entire team”

 “In my years at Nintendo, I have come to discover that when there are women in a variety of roles on the project, you get a wider range of ideas”

“We opened ourselves up to getting a variety of tastes and ideas by leveraging the diversity of the team”

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