Nintendo Issues Internal Response to Activision-Blizzard Reports

Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser says he finds the reports "distressing and disturbing."

Update 8:30 PM PT — Nintendo PR sent the following in response to our request for comment and clarification on what actions were taken: “We can confirm the content of Doug Bowser’s internal email to Nintendo of America staff is accurate. We have nothing further to share on this topic.”

The original story remains below:

Last week, a bombshell report from Wall Street Journal detailed the ways in which Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick both intervened to protect abusers at the company and allegedly acted as one himself. It prompted this outlet to demand his resignation and that of the executive team protecting him. It also prompted longtime Activison partners platform-holders PlayStation and Xbox to also send internal missives to employees expressing concern over Kotick’s behavior and the ongoing harassment lawsuits against Activision. While both  of these emails leaked to the public, no response from Nintendo had breached its fortified walls until now, as Fanbyte has received the company’s internal response from a verified source.

An email sent by Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser sent on Friday, November 19 addresses the Activision-Blizzard report. The email went out to all levels of Nintendo of America, including internal development houses like Retro Studios and the newly-acquired Next-Level Games.

“Along with all of you, I’ve been following the latest developments with Activision Blizzard and the ongoing reports of sexual harassment and toxicity at the company,” Bowser begins. “I find these accounts distressing and disturbing. They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo’s beliefs, values and policies.”

Bowser goes on in the letter to explain that Nintendo is committed to having an open and inclusive workplace where all are welcome. He remarks the company holds itself to this standard and expects the same from the industry and their partners.

Though without detail, Bowser also says representatives at Nintendo have been “in contact with Activision, have taken action and are assessing others.” It is not entirely clear what actions Bowser is referring to here or which ones they are still leaving on the table.

He does, however, make mention of the ESA: a lobbying organization of which both Nintendo and Activison-Blizzard are members. Bowser says Nintendo has been working with the ESA as of at least last week to strengthen stances on harassment and abuse in the workplace, and that the ESA must hold its members to the highest standard.

“Every company in the industry must create an environment where everyone is respected and treated as equals, and where all understand the consequences of not doing so.”

We have reached out to Nintendo for comment on this story but did not receive a reply back by the time of publication.