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Nintendo Game Tester Alleges They Were Fired For Asking About Unions

A longtime tester for Nintendo believes a single question resulted in an eventual dismissal.


A former QA tester for Nintendo is alleging that their firing from that position was the result of an inquiry about unionization during a company meeting in January.

In an interview with Axios Gaming, Mackenzie Clifton--who is coming forward after filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board earlier this year--is claiming that a question asked to Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser during a meeting in January ultimately led to their termination one month later.

Nintendo has been the subject of multiple labor-related allegations this year.
Nintendo has been the subject of multiple labor-related allegations this year.

According to the interview, Clifton asked Bowser "what does NoA think about the unionization trend in QA in the games industry as of late?" Their inquiry was not answered in the meeting, however according to Clifton a supervisor from contracting firm Aston Carter told them it was a "downer question" and told them to ask questions of that nature to the firm, not to Nintendo directly.

Clifton was later fired for publicly disclosing sensitive information according to Nintendo, though when Clifton pressed for an example of her transgression, they were shown a single tweet from mid-February that read "in today’s build someone somewhere must have deleted every other texture in the game bc everything is now red. Just like, pure red. it’s very silly.”

In the months following the NLRB complaint, multiple accounts about subpar work conditions at Nintendo have emerged. In August, Kotaku reported that female testers hired from a separate contracting firm called Aerotek were subjected to discriminatory behaviors, including harassment and inappropriate conduct from male employees. Nintendo has not commented on any of these allegations as of this writing.

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