A lesson on NDA’s and thoughts on Nintendo’s firing of Chris Pranger

This is just a thought post, and no real translation is offered here. However, it still talks a bit about localization, so I felt it can apply to this portfolio of mine.

This is just a brief post in wake of former localizer Chris Pranger being laid off from Nintendo due to some recent comments he made on a podcast last week. It’s a chilling reality for someone like me who aspires to eventually work in Nintendo Localization at some point in the future… reading the heartfelt remarks from his facebook post (now deleted, and I shall not re-post in full out of respect for him in case he does not wish it to be so) just added to it. His dream of working for the company resonated with me, and I would have never thought that his few remarks in the podcast would ever lead to him losing his job.

Well, turned out it did. I cannot even begin to imagine how that feels, after all that post of his gives the harsh realities of being laid off in general. Health, family, all that goes right out the window. I know that people get laid off everyday and go unheard of, and believe me that if we actually had a glimpse of all their stories, our hearts would probably melt the same way. It is just that this one was made more public via gaming media, and especially in a way that has resonated with me too.

Fan response has been quite mixed. On one hand people say he deserved it for breaking an NDA’s (Non-Disclosure Agreements). This makes sense indeed, an NDA must be adhered too no matter what company you are in. However, it becomes a question of what was violated and what happened as a response. It seems that the relatively minor ridiculing of the fanbase (mostly targeting the “why do you hate money Nintendo?” comments) was a hit in terms of public relations (or so people assume) which lead to this. I would say a warning of the violation or another strike off would have been more fair before directly canning him from his dream job. Fans state that this is likely pointing to other violations that went unheard of and this was the last straw. Who knows? I completely understand this view point though.

On the other hand, there has been an out-pour of sympathy as well, which is relieving to see. Of course it may be a more naive approach, or overly empathetic, or perhaps a view point that does not belong in a more capitalist society. I admit I am quite sympathetic, even though the violation of NDAs and the like make sense. In the end I would say it is a matter of “I understand an NDA was broken, but please do not hate or fault the individual for it and instead take a step back and look at the current system that is in place that may also need to be evaluated.”

Victim blame versus system blaming, essentially.

I wish him all the best and hope he can get through these hard times and move on to a job he may not have realized was a dream until he got there. I will keep the lessons from this in mind if I ever get to working for Nintendo or the Pokemon Company International.

2 thoughts on “A lesson on NDA’s and thoughts on Nintendo’s firing of Chris Pranger

  1. Idk about the nuts and bolts aspect of localization but as far as translations for FE fates from what I have seen you are much faster than them. I mean the game is basicly translated even the supports have been translated. I’m glad there are people like you who do this while they drag their feet.

    • I’m sure there are many hurdles, release timing, cultural localizing, marketing, etc. But I am glad you think so! Yes indeed, fans work fast and for no pay. From what I get out of this is a lot of experience. Thank you for your kind words! : )

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