Barnstorming 3DS success Animal Crossing: New Leaf had a 50/50 gender split across its development team, and leading members from the studio have spoken about how that had a positive effect on the creation of the well-received title.
"As a woman on the team, I always felt welcome, and never felt awkward," said director Aya Kyogoku during a GDC 2014 talk examining the game, attended by Eurogamer.
Kyogoku also added that everyone in the team was invited to participate in discussions about all aspects of the game's design. "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."
It also sounds like the development of Animal Crossing, a series famous for its incredibly broad appeal, was as intoxicatingly pleasant as in the game itself. Kyogoku recalled that members of the development team would regularly go on group barbeques, and would also make cakes themed around the game and bring them into the office. The upside of all this, according to Kyogoku, is that the team remained in good spirits towards the end of development--the notoriously difficult 'crunch' period.
Maybe the good times are infectious? Let's collectively work out how to bake a Tom Nook cake.
Nintendo has said that Animal Crossing: New Leaf sold 7.3 million units by the end of 2013.