Nintendo Employee Fired for Speaking on Podcast
A localizer at Nintendo has been fired for appearing on a podcast and giving honest opinions about his company's efforts to bring foreign titles to the West.
Polygon reports that Nintendo localizer and Treehouse employee Chris Pranger was fired from the company after appearing on the Part-Time Gamers podcast. Nintendo of America's Treehouse division is often used to localize the company's Japanese games for the North American market, handling the English, French and Spanish translations of games that have more abundant amounts of Japanese audio and text in them compared to Nintendo's usual titles. Pranger revealed that he was fired on Twitter for appearing on the podcast and the comments he made there. In the interview, Pranger commented on the fans who were being critical of what Nintendo was (and wasn't) bringing overseas.
"It'll be like, 'Yeah, we do want money, which is why we know it's a colossal waste to localize that in this current market because look at you people. You don't make up a big enough group,'" Pranger said on the podcast. "You look at something like even Xenoblade Chronicles. People love that game, you know, within a certain group. That game is not the type of game that just pulls in enough to justify the costs on that. We got it in the States by luck, that [Nintendo] decided 'Oh, we'll take the bullet. We'll localize that.'"
"And people are like 'Why do you guys hate money?' We don't. That's why you literally can't make everything. And people don't like finding out that their fanbase is actually too small to justify the costs of the thing they want. And they don't get that."
Pranger also mentioned how fighting game enthusiasts got upset at Super Smash Bros. being geared towards a more casual fanbase. He explained that they are simply a niche group who don't make up enough of Nintendo's overall audience to be considered on how to develop such a widely popular game.
On the topic of Uncharted 4, Pranger mentioned that he wasn't "supposed to say nice things about our competitors," suggesting that Nintendo has some sort of guideline in place for either avoiding the topics of Sony and Microsoft or not openly praising them. Meanwhile, Phil Spencer has openly commended both Nintendo and Sony for their ventures on the E3 stage while millions of people were watching.
To no surprise, the comments Pranger said about Nintendo weren't that bad, but they certainly weren't as sugarcoated as Nintendo would've liked. I've seen plenty of Xbox and PlayStation employees be more frank about their companies than Pranger has, and it's a shame that he lost his job for being honest.
Even Sonic the Hedgehog feels for Pranger's termination:
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