A recent interview at a GDC 2014 panel with Animal Crossing: New Leaf‘s Producer Katsuya Eguchi and Director Aya Kyogoku revealed that the development team was a refreshingly even split between female and male.
According to Kyogoku, when asked about her experience as she started work on the game as one of the first few women on the team:
As a woman on the team, I always felt welcome, and never felt awkward.
She elaborated further:
It opened us up to a variety of tastes and likings. 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.
Kyogoku also spoke of the strength of the development team’s bond, like how staff members would bring in Animal Crossing-themed cakes for the workers and that even during the final stages of development, there would be staff barbecues. This meant that at the end the team moral was fresh and cheerful — a stark contrast to the usual hectic and stressed environment studios experience in the last weeks of development.