Nintendo localization editor Chris Pranger said on Twitter this week that he’s been fired following an appearance on a podcast.
As some of you may have heard, yes, I was fired yesterday. Yes, it was ultimately my own fault. No, I did not see this coming.
— Chris Pranger (@TheChrisPranger) August 13, 2015
Pranger appeared on a small podcast called The Part-Time Gamers on August 3, where he spoke about his work at Nintendo and some other elements of the generally secretive video game publisher.
Pranger spoke pragmatically about some of the realities that go along with fan reactions to things as well as defending Nintendo at points.
One particularly inflammatory set of comments had Pranger responding to fans who ask why Nintendo hates money, speaking in reference to more niche games like Xenoblade Chronicles and Captain Rainbow:
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 of America] decided ‘Oh, we’ll take the bullet. We’ll localize that.’ Like, ‘OK!’ because someone is going to have to eat the costs somewhere, because that game is guaranteed to not sell enough to justify how big that game is. You know, hundreds of hours, all voiced. That’s a lot of money that goes into that.
Pranger applied similar logic to fans who complain about casual concessions in games like Super Smash Bros., explaining that the fighting game community – which does get a lot of attention from Nintendo with regard to Smash – simply doesn’t make up a big enough part of the audience to dictate every element of the game.
Nintendo is, however, a very secretive company, and it doesn’t like employees speaking about the company without strict approval. Even without the comments, it’s very possible he may have found himself in this position just for appearing as a Nintendo employee without approval. Termination seems like a harsh punishment for making some pretty innocuous comments, but it’s likely that employment with the company involves signing agreements not to do things exactly like this.
This is an unfortunate result of employment with, really, just about any big company, and we hope Pranger can land on his feet following the events.