Nintendo‘s unique Friend Code system has been around since the Wii console era, and it’s still being used today.
While many find it annoying to use a 12-digit code rather than a unique username like many other services, it turns out Nintendo has a good reason behind it.
A leaked internal presentation shared by ex-Game Informer editor, Imran Khan, revealed that Nintendo considers the 12-digit Friend Codes more accessible than using unique screen names.
Letting people freely choose their screen names posed conflicts against two of Nintendo’s principles, the Simple and Comfortable principles.
Screen names violate the Simple principle by having duplicates which may lead to multiple re-entries. With the Comfortable principle in mind, the company is concerned about the user’s security and privacy with the possibility to “guess someone’s screen name by trying different variations of their actual name,” according to the presentation.