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Nintendo boss latest to condemn Activision Blizzard's behaviour around sexual harassment allegations

Doug Bowser checking out Luigi's Mansion 3 on the Nintendo Switch during 2019 E3 Gaming Convention.
(Image credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

Nintendo of America boss Doug Bowser is the latest figure to condemn the current handling of sexual harassment allegations by Activision Blizzard and president Bobby Kotick.

As reported by Fanbyte, an email was sent out to all Nintendo of America employees on November 19 following damning new allegations in a Wall Street Journal report. In it, Bowser wrote "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. I find these accounts distressing and disturbing. They run counter to my values as well as Nintendo's beliefs, values and policies."

The email continues to say that Nintendo representatives have been "in contact with Activision, have taken action and are assessing others," though no clarification is given on what the specifics of this are. Bowser says that Nintendo has been working with the Entertainment Software Association to improve its harassment and abuse policies, saying "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."

Bowser's comments mean that all three major console heads have now spoken out against Activision Blizzard. Playstation's Jim Ryan was the first, writing in an email how senior leadership were "disheartened and frankly stunned" that Activision Blizzard "has not done enough to address a deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment." 

This was followed up by Xbox head Phil Spencer, who said the company was "evaluating all aspects" of its relationship with Activision Blizzard and "making ongoing proactive adjustments" to their partnership. 

The latest allegations have seen a rise in calls for Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to step down. A small group of shareholders demanded his removal, while a number of employees at the studio staged a walkout in protest of his ongoing employment.

Mollie Taylor

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