Nintendo of America product testers report sexual harassment and toxic “frat house” culture at the company

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of insiders who have come out to speak out about how bad sexual harassment and toxic behavior can get in the gaming industry. Companies like Activision Blizzard have come under fire for incredibly brazen employee abuse cases, while others, like Nintendosimply kept under the radar and gotten away with it.

While this may have led some members of the gaming community to believe that some of Nintendo’s own studios haven’t had such issues, it doesn’t seem to have been further from the truth. Kotaku’s recent interview with numerous former female Nintendo of America (NoA) employees revealed that they have been subjected to sexually inappropriate behavior, workplace inequality and plenty of nepotism throughout their careers at Nintendo’s American subsidiary.


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According to Kotaku’s interview with ten different sources who have worked at Nintendo sometime in the last decade, the company is riddled with “frat house” behavior. The interview focuses primarily on NoA’s recruiting company, Aerotek, where women were paid significantly less than men and simply had no opportunity for advancement, which is similar to many other industry reports on toxic situations in the workplace. “I felt like I was being treated with a sense of ‘otherness,'” explained one of the sources, while another recalled a case where a male employee posted in the company’s chat room about completely inappropriate Pokemon-related materials , which apparently was not the case.

Nintendo’s latest financial reports make it clear that the company is enjoying immense success with the Switch console, but that success may have been built in part in a highly toxic work environment. Kotaku’s sources recall situations where full-time Nintendo employees — so-called “red badges” — would use their job status to avoid the consequences for their inappropriate behavior. These included unwelcome sexual advances and threatening behavior. And since Aerotek had very few full-time female employees to advocate for other women, there was no one to turn to for help.

Another notable example comes from Hannah, who was in an open lesbian relationship during her time at Nintendo of America. Her much older backup coordinator said her sexual orientation was “kind of sad”. Hannah also had to deal with unwelcome advances from her straight peers, who said she “plays hard to get,” in stark contrast to Nintendo’s official stance on same-sex relationships.

Kotaku’s interview goes into detail about the hows and whys of these harassment cases, which include cases of literal stalking and dangerous behavior. While Nintendo previously issued a statement condemning workplace harassment, sources say its US subsidiary failed to provide them with a safe, equal-opportunity job. In light of these allegations, it’s also worth remembering that Nintendo of America has also been accused of anti-unionism, further calling into question the parent company’s efforts to maintain a family-friendly image.

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Source: Kotaku Nintendo of America product testers report sexual harassment and toxic “frat house” culture at the company


TaraSubramaniam is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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