Chris Pranger fired from Nintendo due to podcast interview

Hello friends and family. As many of you have probably seen, I am no longer at Nintendo. I was terminated this week due...

Posted by Chris Pranger on Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mr. Pranger has since deleted the Facebook post we shared. We will not copy/paste the body of his original post out of respect to him. Sadly, Mr. Pranger's termination at Nintendo is accurate.

We all thought it was a bit odd to have a Nintendo employee out there speaking on so many topics. Looks like Nintendo wasn't too happy with the appearance. Sad to see that this is how it ended for Mr. Pranger.

Categories: Top Stories


Thu Aug 13 15 12:47pm
(Updated 1 time)

Thanks a lot NeoGaf... The thread on him exploded once articles started to come out about his appearance and that no doubt caught the attention of NOA quicker than anything else. He did break NDA, but I still worry for him and the other treehouse employees. I fear his firing will lead to NOA going 100% silent again on everything...

"Thanks a lot NeoGaf... The thread on him exploded once articles started to come out about his appearance and that no doubt caught the attention of NOA quicker than anything else."

Actually we have that particular distinction.

I spent the last week in a miserable place once the podcast began getting coverage. I was instantly scared when a coworker poked me and said, "Hey, you're on GoNintendo."

In that case I don't know who to blame, if anyone besides Chris and Nintendo themselves. I just feel like there should have been something else done to prevent him from getting fired entirely...

You can't blame people talking about news. That's ridiculous. The fault for this lies squarely in between Chris and Nintendo. Everything else should have been expected.

That may be true but I can't help but feel that the media in general went overboard with this... I suppose I just hate seeing someone fired

He's a Nintendo employee and he made these statements himself. This is the reason we don't get much internal perspective from companies, why people sign NDAs, and why PR people are trained is to avoid situations like this.

This is no one's fault but his own. Nintendo didn't authorize the interview but the guy did it anyway, the guy clearly didn't know how to talk to media, particularly about Nintendo's own criticized decisions. For someone who cares so much, he clearly didn't know to keep quiet about topics like that. The media did its job - he didn't do his.

Spending the past hours thinking about the circumstances I can agree about that. He broke the NDA and therefore he gets punished for it.

I am not surprised. I feel bad for him, but I do think there is a limit on transparency.

To be completely honest, a lot of the insights he gave made me a little uncomfortable! I like it when employees shine a light through the curtain, but opening it completely is a little bit too much.

Stick outside the PR guidelines and that's what happens...

Must have been pretty bad to skip a mere suspension and go to an outright job termination.

I feel for the guy. Being jobless is a terrible thing. But talking about your company - especially global ones [but any period] - does carry certain responsibilities and rules.

Thu Aug 13 15 01:00pm
(Updated 1 time)

Sharing the same sentiment as most of you. I feel bad for him, but I am not surprised. I really enjoyed hearing his thoughts and insights and was hoping that Nintendo was going to start being more open in general. Hope that things work out for him.

What did he say to get himself fired? This is the first I've heard of the guy.

He pretty much said that fans that wanted localization were a vocal minority, and oftentimes Nintendo would lose money on localizing games when fans thought they were making money. He pretty much said to suck it up if a game didn't release in the States.

Ah, okay. I heard about that, but I know didn't know it was this guy who said it. That's unfortunate...

He spoke too much, about too many topics.
Nintendo is a company that never talks about money, and only a certain few can talk about they work process, usually under special circumstances.
When a Nintendo employee talks, it's not "Chris talking", it's "Chris-from-Nintendo talking". That can hurt the company directly, but also in intangible ways, weakening its image.

I wish Nintendo would have given him a second chance, but I think I also understand why they didn't. I hope he finds a new job quickly.

As someone who just got a job after three long years of unemployment, I really feel for the dude. He should have been reprimanded, not fired.

Thu Aug 13 15 01:05pm
(Updated 1 time)

Sick of this. Companies being transparent is a great thing. If the truth hurts then the truth hurts but sugar coating it or hiding it entirely is just frustrating.

We all know exactly why games like Captain Rainbow don't get localised and all he did was officially confirm it. Maybe he could have been slightly more tactful about it ("you people" is a little harsh) but honestly people just need thicker skin. Who cares that some Nintendo employee was a bit brash when discussing something like that. I'd rather be told straight than be fed some bull PR line like "we're always looking for opportunities to bring Japanese games over to America. Never say never!" etc. etc.

I feel for the guy. This should have at least garnered a warning if Nintendo really are hell bent on keeping a squeaky clean image, not a firing.

I don't think he was entirely truthful. He stretched the truth to make Nintendo fans look like the bad guys for wanting games localized. Captain Rainbow may be a bit out there, but saying NoE "took the fall" for Xenoblade's localization, when sales tripled after its Western release, is ridiculous. The game was confirmed to have profited and even got itself a decently big-budget sequel, but Pragner still chalked the situation up to luck.

I don't think I've heard something so blatantly offensive and, frankly, untrue since a Square Enix rep said that the Tomb Raider reboot sold over 3 million copies and didn't meet expectations.

It appears that this all comes from Nintendo being the only company to make such consistently horrible decisions like region locking, not localizing various games, and acting like we're really dumb, so to bring over the New 3DS would confuse the market in North America.

Saying that, I'm sure this employee also knew he couldn't state certain things on air etc.

I wish him well.

I now know what the next AlphaOmegaSin video will be about.

Searched a bit because I did not know what this podcast was all about.

Stumbled on this: http://mynintendonews.com/2015/08/03/chris-pranger-from-treehouse-talks-about-working-for-nintendo/

Interesting bit. He says Nintendo’s media policy has recently changed regarding employees being more open about talking about their work but not spoilers or anything. That’s probably why he can even do this podcast.


What the hell Nintendo.

Okay, what did he really say?

Scroll up and read the other comments PLENTY of links. Read before you post.

I did read it, mind you. I said really as in "I don't buy that as the reason they fired him", because I don't think that explaining how localization for niche titles works, and explaining the "new" in titles are good reasons to fire someone.

Their policy is you don't go talk about Nintendo unless Nintendo says you can. So he broke policy. He could have done nothing but praise the company and still would have been canned. And it would have justifiable in the sense that he broke the rules.

Although he did say some of their policies changed (but to what extent that's true I don't know), so it would have been okay to talk in a podcast. Now, I don't know where this podcast is or what he said there, but based on the comments above, if he did say something similar to the GoNintendo articles about a week ago, he would have been fired already by then.

Wow. GN's like, legit now if it covering an interview gets NOA to notice.

Getting coverage on GN is a big deal. I'm glad you guys are staying humble but yeah, the site wields some pretty impressive reach. That being said, not to undermine your strength, but this issue blew up in a bunch of different places including a misquote that's supposedly garnered a lot of media attention in Japan.

Now to collect my thoughts on the whole scenario over the weekend. Fun times!

So you downvoted because you're going to be doing more work?

He probably talked about stuff that he wasn't allowed to.

Hopefully all this buzz won't ruin his future job applications.

Shame, really. Most of it wasn't Earth shattering, and was things that we've already figured out.

Nintendo doesn't talk about Nintendo. Never has, likely never will.

Like most others, it's unfortunate but I can't say I'm surprised. NDAs exist for many companies so this isn't just a Nintendo thing, I can guarantee you this can happen to Sony, Microsoft, Capcom, etc. employees too should they mention stuff their NDAs say they can't.

well I didn't expect that. I knew all along it was an incredible mistake to try to talk to those guys at that board, it never ends well, and they are ferociously anti nintendo. I mean, that's why Rmc created that site in the first place. So handling communities nowadays is more about saying a few things and getting out as fast as you can.
It's so bad for him, he was just honest but the internet is just relentless.

Thu Aug 13 15 02:38pm
(Updated 1 time)

Looks like the Facebook post got deleted. He most likely realized he was breaking the first rule of Fight Club again and that it was going to blow up on the internet and make things even harder for himself. It probably already did. :-(

Not surprised, really... I doubt this has much to do with his statements, more with his attitude. He was mocking the fanbase in a few of his statements, and generally seemed pretty aggressive for someone who should know how PR works.

Well that stinks. Even if he's completely to blame I feel bad for the guy losing his job. Don't mess with those NDAs.

yikes! I guess being telling the truth has its consequences after all

No good deed goes unpunished.

Thu Aug 13 15 04:44pm
(Updated 1 time)

I think it's a sick sign of where we are at as a society, that a guy can get fired from his job, how he earns a living and financially supports himself, just for having an opinion on the company he works for.

The idea that you are just a voiceless automaton with no freedoms or rights to express yourself, other than when it falls 100% within the company's PR/marketing-line bull, makes my stomach turn.

It's vile, and I don't respect any corporation that acts this way towards its employees.

You are allowed to have your opinions but expect consequences to your opinions if you are talking under "employee" status.

If he said he prefers PS4 over the Wii U then nothing would have become of this, but it is the fact that he put Nintendo in a bad light and Nintendo took action. Just like the Geico guy losing his job over a remark he made

And that's the thing I take issue with.

I do not believe a company should be allowed to fire an employee simply because that employee says something that "puts the company in a bad light" unless it can be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that what they said has actually damaged the company in some meaningful and tangible way.

Just saying Super Mario 3D World is crap, or the one of the designers is a tool, or whatever, in some random interview on a gaming blog, should not be a fireable offence, enforceable under the law, imo.

Yeah, he did kinda do this to himself with the way he was saying it/acting, so it is understandable Nintendo would do something about it. Opinions or not, saying things like that is logically not allowed.

I can't really say it was unexpected. At least from what I've seen, it's not uncommon to see people get fired for discussing company policies that they don't want the public to know, big or small; That's why most of the time it happens it's either whistleblowers or former employees. I've seen this happen a couple of times and I really don't see why people are painting Nintendo as the bad guy. It's not like he gave some earth shattering revelation about employee mistreatment or something like that.


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