When Chris Pranger decided to appear on a small podcast called Part-Time Gamers last week, he didn’t realize he was making a mistake that would ultimately cost him his career at Nintendo–they fired him shortly afterward.
In the podcast, posted on August 3rd, Pranger spoke openly about what it’s like to work at the Nintendo Treehouse. “It was a stupid judgment call on my part and ultimately it cost me far more than I could have imagined,” Pranger said according to Kotaku. The Facebook post this report comes from has since been removed.
Not unlike the Department of Mysteries from Harry Potter (where employees are known as “Unspeakables” because of the confidential nature of their jobs), the Treehouse is a secretive place. Only Treehouse employees have access to it and it’s where the team compiles videos, translates text from Japanese to English, and puts together marketing plans, among other things. Pranger worked as a localization editor and writer, translating for the company.
The reason behind Pranger’s termination is vague, as he didn’t appear to release any confidential information. As it happens, a handful of seemingly harmless comments regarding the nature of localization is enough to get one fired from Nintendo.
The incriminating podcast didn’t gather much attention, however fans of the company found it riveting because of how rare it is to hear a Nintendo employee talk so freely. “My Twitter started giving me hourly reminders from people meaning well and otherwise,” said Pranger on Facebook. He went on to write:
I look around my house and see images of my son and feel such intense shame and crippling sadness. I know that if I can’t find a job at least as good as this one, I won’t be able to provide for my family I’ve lost them their health coverage and their security. I also know that I’ve probably lost a good deal of my friends, just because I know how hard it can be to stay in touch with someone when the convenience of proximity is lost. I’m so sorry to everyone. I’ve failed you. You believed in me and supported me and trusted me and I’ve failed you. I’ve failed me.
“We have no comment on this topic other than to wish Chris the best in his future endeavors,” said Nintendo, in response to a request for comment from Kotaku.