It just doesn’t end: It’s 2022 too sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying still everyday life for many women in the gaming industry. In 2019 there were allegations against the co-founder of Oculus Rift and several employees within Microsoft, followed in 2020 by a wave of allegations against the streaming platform Twitch and the developer and publisher Ubisoft.
In addition to Riot Games, Activision Blizzard probably caused the biggest uprising and the conditions brought to light were criticized from many sides in the industry – also from Nintendo. Doug Bowser, President of Nintendo of America condemned the conduct at Activision Blizzard and advocated for a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. Now, however, Nintendo sees itself too similar allegations confronted.
Power imbalances, salary differences and sexual harassment: The conditions at Nintendo’s test companies
As kotaku reported, the game magazine has the same ten different sources Spoken for any point in time between the inception of the Wii U until today Nintendo have worked and who can report firsthand about sexual harassment, discrimination or bullying.
Hannah (not her real name), working for Nintendo as a tester on the contractor Aerotek worked and finally gave up her dream job because of the grievances at work, for example, content shared by a male colleague in work chats revealed that sexual acts featuring Pokémon and the child-like looking character Paimon from Genshin Impact.
After Hannah complained about her colleague at management complained, not only did she get advice from above to keep such things to herself, but she also had to watch said colleague with a workout because of sexual harassment got away. While another employee who had made comments about the color of Hannah’s underwear in the past lost his job, Aerotek was powerless when it came to the other male colleague – he works directly at Nintendo.
Complaints fell on deaf ears
As was the case with Activision Blizzard complaints often ignored or not taken seriously about such behavior, as Hannah goes on to say: “There was a male [Vollzeit-Angestellten], who made nasty jokes and comments all the time, but he was everyone’s friend. Everyone loved him. Me and other female employees didn’t like what he said. But we didn’t say anything because then you were labeled as overly sensitive.”
In addition, Hannah also spoke about salary differences between female and male employees, which even after hard and long-lasting negotiations have not been fully but only partially aligned. One of her colleagues was getting twice her salary at another company.
Other former employees also shared such experiences from their time with contractors such as Aerotek or solder checkwho work with Nintendo for video game testing. An anonymous source wrote about Lotcheck: “I felt like I was being treated like an outsider. People would behave in a way I was uncomfortable with and then ask me not to go to HR because I would misunderstand something and make me feel guilty to have.”
Sexual harassment, discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender, salary differences and a massive power imbalance: the list of allegations is long and anyone who complained was faced with consequences up to and including termination threatened. As Kotaku writes, all companies and employees involved have been contacted about these allegations – and not a single statement to get.