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"As I mention above, was the box art change was coincidental, or done for pr reason?"
It could have been either, but given the limited nature of the change and the even-more limited nature of people actually asking for it, coincidence seems the more likely explanation to me.
"People wouldn't have no problem if there wasn't that controversy that involved people thinking Mario wearing a sombrero racist."
Does two people saying something stupid on Twitter really constitute much of a controversy, though? I am pretty sure that I can find just as many people saying just as many dumbass things about literally every game. In the absence of any real acknowledgement or effort from Nintendo at appealing to those people, this specific case seems like a bit of a reach.
"Remember how people raise heck about Tomodachi Life not having a "same-sex relationship" option?"
Of course. That one had a dumb petition that a couple thousand people signed, and Nintendo made a show of officially apologizing for it. I think it is fair to attribute that one to the complainers.
Neither of those things seem to be the case here, though.
"how people complain about Nintendo firing a female treehouse employee, even though it was justified because she violated company policy? And these same people was "white knighting" her"
I remember that, but given that she is still fired, that seems like an example of Nintendo ignoring Twitter outcry.
"Just because they're a small vocal minority doesn't mean companies don't listen to them"
Sure, companies sometimes listen to vocal minorities. I just do not believe that is the case in this particular instance.