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Last week, reports and allegations made public in California’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard resurfaced in a detailed report published by The Wall Street Journal. The thorough and extensive article also brought to light that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick not only knew of multiple sexual harassments incidents, but he intervened to keep employees that committed these acts. Kotick also did not inform the company’s board of directors of various instances of sexual harassment, even ones that ended in a paid settlement from the company.

In addition, it was found that Kotick has repeatedly mistreated employees ranging from threatening to kill or destroy them and firing at least one employee in retaliation.

Following the article’s publication, employees staged a walkout, the video game community demanded Kotick to resign, and other video game companies were taking note of the situation. Eventually, internal e-mails from Sony and Microsoft that addressed the reports about Activision Blizzard and their’s stance on the issue leaked to the public. All that was missing was Nintendo, until yesterday.

Fanbyte’s news editor Imran Khan obtained a copy of the e-mail penned by Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser and shared portions of it his reporting. According to Khan, “[t]he email went out to all levels of Nintendo of America, including internal development houses like Retro Studios and the newly-acquired Next-Level Games” on Friday, November 19th. You can read portions of the e-mail and summary of certain sections below from Fanbyte’s coverage:


“Along with all of you, I’ve been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity at the company,” Bowser begins. “I find these accounts distressing and disturbing. They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo’s beliefs, values and policies.”

Bowser goes on in the letter to explain that Nintendo is committed to having an open and inclusive workplace where all are welcome. He remarks the company holds itself to this standard and expects the same from the industry and their partners.

Though without detail, Bowser also says representatives at Nintendo have been “in contact with Activision, have taken action and are assessing others.” It is not entirely clear what actions Bowser is referring to here or which ones they are still leaving on the table.

He does, however, make mention of the ESA: a lobbying organization of which both Nintendo and Activison-Blizzard are members. Bowser says Nintendo has been working with the ESA as of at least last week to strengthen stances on harassment and abuse in the workplace, and that the ESA must hold its members to the highest standard.

“Every company in the industry must create an environment where everyone is respected and treated as equals, and where all understand the consequences of not doing so.”


Khan reached out to Nintendo for comment and Nintendo PR responded with the following after publication: “We can confirm the content of Doug Bowser’s internal email to Nintendo of America staff is accurate. We have nothing further to share on this topic.”


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Written by Jennifer Burch

Illustrator, designer, writer and big Nintendo geek, you can find Jennifer with an N3DS within reach 24/7. As the oldest of three, she has survived many Mario Party, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart sessions intact in addition to getting her brothers hooked on some really weird games. (Cubivore anyone?)