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)
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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 (opens in new tab), an email was sent out to all Nintendo of America employees on November 19 following damning new allegations (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab)" 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 (opens in new tab), while a number of employees at the studio staged a walkout (opens in new tab) in protest of his ongoing employment.

Mollie Taylor
News Writer

Mollie's been gaming as early as she could clutch a controller or mouse in her tiny little hands. The main games she remembers playing are Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which still perfectly capture her gaming personality two decades later. She joined PC Gamer in 2020, poking around the weird and wonderful corners of the internet for news. She can probably be found AFKing in Limsa Lominsa for hours on end, using that expertise to write neat things about Final Fantasy 14. When she's not staring at her bunny girl, she can be found sweating out rhythm games, fighters or playing through a JRPG for the fifth time.