Catching up with Nintendo's former dynamic duo
Between the two of them, Kit Ellis and Krysta Yang spent nearly 30 years at Nintendo. The duo may have handled public relations for the Big N behind the scenes, but they became much more well known to fans as the hosts of Nintendo Minute, a weekly show about all things Nintendo. From early game previews to shopping challenges and more, Kit and Krysta become on-screen Nintendo personalities that fans the world over adored.
While Kit and Krysta were both integral parts of Nintendo internally and publicly, in the beginning of 2022, the duo revealed that they were parting ways with the company. Not exactly the best news for Nintendo fans to start the year off with, but we found out shortly thereafter that Kit and Krysta were going to continue working together on their own podcast and Patreon projects. Not having the pair at Nintendo still feels a bit strange, but it’s equally wonderful to see them staying together for personal projects.
Want to know more about Kit and Krysta’s lives now that they’re no longer part of Nintendo? We were lucky enough to sit down with team virtually to chat about everything and anything that came to mind! You can read our interview in its entirety below.
GN: First off, how are you guys?! You guys have been through a whirlwind in the last few months!
K&K: We’re doing great! It really has been a wild past six months or so, but we’re so happy to be back together, making the content we love for our incredible community. .
GN: What was it like seeing yourselves as the topic of so many stories following your departure from Nintendo?
K&K: First and foremost, we were really touched by all the kind things people had to say about us and Nintendo Minute. We knew that once the show ended and once we left Nintendo, there would be some sort of a fan reaction, but we definitely were not prepared for the outpouring of love and support that we received. The overwhelming response to this news played a big part in us making the decision to continue to create content independently.
GN: Was there anything that cropped up in that coverage that surprised you?
K&K: We couldn’t believe how many fans reached out to say that they grew up alongside Nintendo Minute, or that the show helped them to get through a difficult time in their lives. That’s so much more than we could have ever asked to accomplish when we started. We’re honored that the content we create can play such a positive role in anybody’s life.
GN: For those who don’t know, can you please explain your decision to leave Nintendo?
K&K: Nintendo of America’s headquarters are in Redmond, Washington, but we were located in a smaller office in Redwood City, California. We learned last September that this office would be closing in 2022. To Nintendo’s credit, the company went out of its way to help people who were interested in relocating make the move up north, but for a variety of reasons we decided not to. We go into this in a lot of detail in the first episode of the Kit & Krysta Podcast if anyone is interested in hearing the full story.
GN: How hard was it for you to decide to part ways with Nintendo?
K&K: It was both difficult and easy, if that makes any sense. On one hand Nintendo is a company we love with all our hearts and we’ve been with for close to 30 years between the two of us. On the other hand, relocation is a lot for a company to ask, and the decision gave us an opportunity to evaluate what we really wanted to prioritize in the future.
GN: Following our last question, how far in advance did you two know you wanted to work together after leaving Nintendo?
K&K: We both immediately talked about wanting to continue to create content together, but we needed a bit of a push from friends and other creators to affirm that it would be the right decision. We owe a lot to those people who gave us their advice, expertise and ultimately the courage to take that leap into independent content creation.!
GN: Did the relationship you build through Nintendo Minute play a big part in your post-Nintendo plans?
K&K: Absolutely - we’ve worked together for the past 13 years but above that we are really close friends. We had really fun jobs, but making Nintendo Minute was the most fun we had during our time at Nintendo.
GN: Do you have a favorite Nintendo Minute moment, or even just a moment from your time at Nintendo in general?
K&K: The launch of Nintendo Switch was a special time for the company and also for Nintendo Minute. Going from the challenges of the Wii U to Switch was like night and day, and was a moment where our show really took off. It was special for us to be part of that moment and to create content around this amazing system and games at a time when there was so much passion and excitement in the community.
GN: How do you think working at Nintendo altered the way you look at games?
K&K: Nintendo definitely prides itself on thinking differently and that is reflected in the games and hardware it releases. Especially now, we can see how Nintendo games are trying to introduce fresh new ideas, whether it’s a new IP or longtime franchise. Most of all, we have so much respect for the people who make the games. They are so passionate and creative, and they put everything they have into their creations.
GN: Is it exciting to expand the range of games and platforms you can discuss publicly?
K&K: Yes! We’ve always played games on as many platforms as possible, so it’s very refreshing to be able to talk about whatever we’re enjoying at the moment. Nintendo will always be where our hearts are though.
GN: Speaking of that, what games are you two currently playing (any platforms, but Switch definitely included!)
K&K: The last few months have been simply incredible for new releases. We both played and finished Pokemon Legends Arceus before moving onto Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring. We’re also really excited for Kirby and the Forgotten Land and the new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tracks.
GN: Do you see yourself creating more content based on games outside of Nintendo’s scope, be it third party or a different platform?
K&K: Just like with Nintendo Minute, we’ll always gravitate to what interests us the most and focus on that. A lot of the time that will be games on Nintendo platforms, but now we have the freedom to expand even further and consider more.
GN: What’s been the most freeing part of moving on from Nintendo?
K&K: It’s been wonderful to have complete freedom in interacting with the community. We had quite a bit of freedom with Nintendo Minute, but there were some guardrails which prevented us from going further. The fans are what make this all possible for us, so we love being able to fully engage with them and reflect their perspectives in the content we make.
GN: How different is your schedule now, as compared to when you worked at Nintendo?
K&K: The schedule has really been the biggest difference between then and now. At any big company, you are going to spend a lot of time in meetings and dealing with emails. We still have those now of course, but they make up less of our day. It’s so rewarding to be this hands-on with all the content we create.
GN: Should we expect to see you two pop up other places in the game industry, or are you keeping it a two-person act for the time being?
K&K: It’s impossible to tell the future but we want to keep making content together for as long as possible. We work well together creatively, we push each other to do our best and we don’t get on each other’s nerves (too much). We feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity.
An absolutely massive thanks to both Kit and Krysta for sharing some of their time with us. Once again, you can find information on their podcast and Patreon content through this link.
Finally, on a personal note, I’d like to offer a sincere thanks to Kit and Krysta. The two of them, from the very first day I attended a Nintendo event, were nothing but extremely kind, helpful, and generous with their time. They always made me feel like what I did/do matters, and in general, were wonderful people to spend time with. The time and interactions I’ve had with both has been extremely invaluable, and I’ll forever hold those moments close.