Nintendo employee fired after podcast remarks on localisation

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Today in rather heart-wrenching news, a Nintendo employee has been fired for what he says is appearing on a podcast to talk about the company. The employee, Chris Pranger, took to Facebook FB +1.04% to announce that he had been let go from his job at Nintendo’s localization division, Treehouse, for appearing on a niche podcast, Part-Time Gamers, where he talked about all things Nintendo, including a few items that made it into the gaming news circuit.

Pranger’s now-deleted Facebook post expressed regret for appearing on the podcast without Nintendo’s approval, but he admits he had absolutely no idea it could lead to something as severe as his dismissal. The last paragraph is especially hard to read:

“I look around my house and see images of my son and feel such intense shame and crippling sadness,” Pranger wrote. “I know that if I can’t find a job at least as good as this one, I won’t be able to provide for my family I’ve lost them their health coverage and their security. I also know that I’ve probably lost a good deal of my friends, just because I know how hard it can be to stay in touch with someone when the convenience of proximity is lost. I’m so sorry to everyone. I’ve failed you. You believed in me and supported me and trusted me and I’ve failed you. I’ve failed me.”


What exactly happened where a man’s life could be shattered by appearing on a podcast? Not too terribly much.

The podcast, Part-Time Gamers, is quite small. Its two co-hosts, Neil Jimenez and Matt Lane, have thirty Twitter TWTR +3.45% followers between them. But once the interview was published, forums picked it apart and deemed a few elements newsworthy. He made waves by suggesting that Xenoblade wasn’t a big enough draw to justify the cost of bringing it to the US. Two additional discussion points that showed up on GoNintendo were quotes about how the fan reaction to the Wii U’s name was overblown, and how it was sometimes frustrating to work with Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai because he was overly passionate about his own project. From the podcast:

“Sakurai’s outlook on the games is very dire. He gets really sad when he finds out how people are reacting and he gets sad whenever there’s a leak, because he really wants to create. And he’s an auteur in the most crazy sense. He’s basically Vincent Van Gogh cutting off his own ear and we’re sitting there going “Frick! Stop doing that!” And he’s like “You don’t get it, guys, my vision!”

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