A former Nintendo employee who was fired from the company less than a month after asking the company about his views on unionization has spoken out and disputed Nintendo''s own narrative that they were fired for an entirely different reason - a breach of confidentiality.
Mackenzie Clifton, a quality assurance tester, has spoken publicly to Axios about their departure from Nintendo of America, revealing both the question about unionization they requested, as well as the "confidential information" they have been accused of leaking.
Clifton presented the following question during a January company Q&A with Nintendo of America CEO Doug Bowser: "What does NoA think about the unionisation trend in the gaming industry as of late?"
Aston Carter, a Nintendo contracting company, received a reply, and Clifton was told it had been a "downer" and to send comments on the subject rather than Nintendo itself.
Clifton was fired in February, less than a month later. Nintendo previously told Eurogamer that the dismissal was primarily due to the disclosure of "confidential information and for no other reason."
Clifton has uncovered a tweet Nintendo has fired them for, which was posted on 16 February:
"In today''s build someone somewhere must have eliminated all other elements in the game bc everything is now red. Just like, pure red. it''s very silly."
Clifton asserts that this message does not reveal information on the project they were working on, and that it is a cover for Nintendo''s own reasoning.
Regardless, the dispute arises amid a set of dissatisfaction at Nintendo of America - and particularly from its QA testers - that have spoken out this year about employee rights and employment conditions.
Doug Bowser of Nintendo of America published a statement in May that he found information on the matter "troubling" and that the matter was being investigated.
Reggie Fils-Aime, Bowser''s predecessor, commented on the situation, saying: "This is not the Nintendo that I left."
We''ve received an email from Nintendo for further information. In the meantime, here''s Nintendo''s previous statement on Clifton''s firing in full:
"We are aware of the claim," a Nintendo UK spokesperson told Eurogamer today. "Nintendo is not aware of any attempts to unionize or related activities, and intends to cooperate with the NLRB''s investigation.
"Nintendo is committed to providing a welcoming and supportive work environment to all our employees and contractors. We take employment issues very seriously."