Nintendo may respond quickly to allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment at its American division. A Kotaku source has reportedly shared a company-wide message from Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser revealing that the Switch creator is “actively investigating” the misconduct claims. The firm “will always” look into assertions like these and encourages workers to report violations, Bowser reportedly said.
We’ve asked Nintendo for comment. The company has previously reacted to incidents elsewhere in the industry, however. In November, Bowser said the accusations behind the Activision Blizzard scandal were “distressing and disturbing.” Days later, Nintendo pledged to increase the number of female managers.
Several female game testers told Kotaku that they’d faced multiple forms of harassment and discrimination at Nintendo. Senior-ranking testers allegedly made unwanted advances and comments. Anti-LGBT remarks, pay gaps and attempts to suppress criticism were also part of the workplace culture, according to the allegations. Female workers are believed to be underrepresented at Nintendo as a whole (37 percent), and particularly among contract-based game testers (10 percent).
It’s too soon to know if any investigation will lead to firings or reforms. If accurate, however, the scoop is a reminder that misconduct complaints haven’t been limited to one developer. Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and others have had to address concerns as well — it may reflect cultural issues across the industry.