Nintendo fires Chris Pranger over localization remarks on podcast
Chris Pranger, now-former Nintendo employee, made a bad decision while appearing on a Nintendo podcast: speaking honestly about the localization strategies of Nintendo products throughout the world.
While Chris Pranger was associated with the Nintendo Treehouse localization group, he appeared on the Part-Time Gamers podcast previously this month. It was on that podcast where he spoke out of line when discussing how Nintendo decides where games will be released and how to localize them properly.
Pranger didn't maliciously say things against his employer at the time, Nintendo, but when reading into how he said certain phrases pertaining to the company many took it the wrong way.
Taking full responsibility for his actions, Pranger tweeted out on August 13th that he didn't expect the situation to excel to the termination of his employment, but that it was entirely his fault.
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
After such a debacle, many have been seeking comments from Nintendo of America, Pranger's former employer, on his termination. In response, only generic comments were given from a spokesperson, completely disregarding the embarrassment:
"No comment on this topic other than to wish Chris the best in his future endeavors."
Formerly Discussing Localization
During the podcast earlier this month that led to Pranger's termination, he discussed the triumphs and difficulties that localization teams go through when translating and foreseeing the market. The job is not easy. But, being too blunt and straight-forward on localization during a podcast resulted in a catastrophic action. Using Xenoblade Chronicles as an example, Pranger discussed how only certain player groups enjoyed the game and that the revenue to produce Xenoblade Chronicles has to come from somewhere.
"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."
Using Captain Rainbow as another example he discusses in the podcast, he puts it out that although a specific group wants a game to go through, they don't produce enough revenue themselves for the game.
"And 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.'"
While Chris Pragner was brutally honest within the podcast, Nintendo didn't think it was his right as their employee to discuss so bluntly how localization works, at such a large venue.
This giant scandal of sorts that Nintendo of America has gone through with Chris Pranger blew up on the internet during the past week and the repercussions have hit Pranger on his social media. From Twitter to Facebook he's been receiving all sorts of emotional support; both consoling and insulting.
"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.' Suddenly article after article began appearing in game sites of all languages. Comments sections painted me as an idiot and the like. My Twitter started giving me hourly reminders from people meaning well and otherwise. It seemed unthinkable that I'd be let go for a single moment of poor judgment and my own misunderstandings, but here we are."
What is your opinion on Nintendo's rash action to fire one of their localization team members? The termination reason can be considered both reasonable and unreasonable depending on Nintendo's company policy.