Mario is more popular than ever, but at what cost?

Nintendo's consoles are massive sellers and the company is arguably more successful now than it has ever been, but at what cost?

Japanese newspaper Nikkei Sangyou Shimbun has given a brief insight into the strain of being the best of the best. Apparently Nintendo's employees have been under increased pressure lately due to the firm's incredible success.

Members of Nintendo's online division have allegedly voiced their concern at having to support so many best-selling titles and the company's finance department is reported to have been working longer hours - presumably to count all that lovely, lovely money.

Elsewhere, Nintendo's game designers are feeling the pinch as well, with one staffer complaining that they don't have time to plan for brand new games and instead have to produce endless sequels.

This might explain why Nintendo has been so keen on using outside sources recently; Metroid: Other M is being handled by Tecmo internal studio Team Ninja and the Mario Party franchise is traditionally overseen by Hudson.

So while Nintendo's rise to power has brought with it cash, gamers and much more besides, the cost in terms of worker satisfaction seems to be quite significant.