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Bill Trinen Talks About The Background Of Nintendo Treehouse

Online gaming publication Siliconera recently had the opportunity to sit down with Bill Trinen, the Director of Product Marketing at Nintendo of America. Bill explained about the origins of Nintendo Treehouse and how it was in the early days compared to now.

“The thing about Treehouse is that it’s actually a huge team [now]. When I joined Nintendo back in ’98, there were two of us. We localized games, captured all the screenshots for promotional materials, wrote all of the manuals, captured all of the footage to help with T.V. ads for media…the list gets longer.”

“From there, the team started to grow, and one of the first things I said was, ‘We really need somebody else to capture the footage [for media], because there’s actual localization work to do, and we can’t do it all,’ so then we added what’s now called our Marketing Support Team.”

“Then there’s my team. I left out of localization several years ago and started up what is essentially the product marketing team. Our role is to educate the NOA internal marketing teams and their agencies on what the products are and how they can identify the key features of a product.”

“We also have our brand management/Pokémon team that handles all of the Pokémon products. They do some things around the Kirby franchise. Today, Treehouse is a very large group. Localization alone is 40 or 50 people. It’s hard to imagine that we started by translating text into .txt files.”

“There have actually been rumors that Mr. Miyamoto is going to retire, you know, so this E3 we were going to spread the rumor that the two of us had bought a place in a Hawaii and that we’re going to retire together. But really, when I first joined Nintendo it was in 1998. I had gone in for an interview on a contract job and didn’t hear back, so, I just sort of assumed I didn’t get the job. Then I heard back from this agency that had hooked me up with the interview and they said, ‘well yeah, they don’t want to hire you for the contract job, they just want to HIRE you!’ So, naturally, I said, hey, sure—I’ll do that!”

“As a part of the testing process for Ocarina of Time, we were doing these nightly telephone conference calls, because we didn’t have video conference technology back then—but we at least had email—so we would do these calls every night and I ended up being the one who was translating them for the testing team in Redmond.”

“I was going about my merry way for a few months when, one day, Jim Merrick comes up to me and says, ‘you’re Bill, right? You speak Japanese, don’t you?’ I was young and naïve, so of course I said, ‘Yeah! Yeah I speak Japanese!’

“Miyamoto was really nervous because he had never spoken in front of an audience that large before—and I was really nervous because I had never met Mr. Miyamoto. I can’t remember it exactly, but there was this little joke at the beginning…anyways, we got on stage, and he gets to his joke, tells it, I translate it, and the whole room just busts up. That’s been our motto ever since—whenever were doing anything, we don’t really care what the audience thinks, the two of us are just going to get up and have fun.”

“Before the trip, I told my wife, ‘I’m going to come back either looking for a new job or I’ll be staying at Nintendo for a very long time.”

38 thoughts on “Bill Trinen Talks About The Background Of Nintendo Treehouse”

  1. Well, that story was very… touching. Aw, he got a job at Nintendo and made his wife proud. XD He’s a funny person too. Just look at the Tomodachi Life Direct and the Amiibo trailer! Him and Reggie= my favorite of NOA! ^_^

                1. And that is how he swore for revenge. He promised to make Nintendo and the rest of thd world kneel under him. And that is how the Playstation 4 became the best selling 8th gen console… XD

                  1. Nintendo Commander Quadraxis

                    Still not as big of a victory than a Sonyan God getting destroyed by Nintendo Guardians…

                    1. He isn’t a Sonyan. He has two Wii U’s and even said Nintendo provides balance in the gaming industry. :p

                        1. But you forget that he may be a sonyan. But Nintendo created Sony. So technically he is a rogue. Lol

                          1. Nintendo’s “creation” of Sony was probably the biggest mistake they’ve ever done..

        1. don’t think many people realize how valuable of an asset Bill is to the company, he needs to be more popular and have fangirling whenever he makes a presence XD

            1. Nintendo Commander Quadraxis

              The Sonyan “Commander” can’t even type in his emperor’s name correctly…

              You must be a grunt posing as a higher ranked Sonyan…

        2. Nintendo Knight Equilibruim

          I will be so sad when our mighty lord miyamoto retires. I’m going to cry like a baby. 😭
          Just thinking of it makes me glum and have tear in my eye. 😪

          1. Nintendo Commander Quadraxis

            And I thought you knights were as cold as steel…

            When our lord reitres, we shall avenge hs absense…

            You should get an avatar to be honest…

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