Former Nintendo quality assurance tester Mackenzie Clifton has denied Nintendo's rationale for firing them, saying that, contrary to Nintendo's claims, they never leaked the company's confidential information.
Nintendo fired Clifton for breach of confidentiality less than a month after they asked the company a question about unionization. Speaking to Axios, Clifton revealed the question they asked and the information they were accused of breaching confidentiality to reveal.
Clifton says that, during a company Q&A session with Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser, they submitted the question, "What does NoA think about the unionization trend in QA in the games industry of late?" The question wasn't answered during the Q&A, and Clifton's contracting company, Aston Carter, chastised them for submitting the question to Nintendo rather than to Aston Carter itself. In February, Clifton was fired.
Clifton says the company fired them for a tweet published Feb. 16 that reads, "in today's build someone somewhere must have deleted every other texture in the game bc everything is now red. Just like, pure. it's very silly." As the tweet appears to contain little that could reveal what project they were working on, Clifton believes it was used as cover for the real motivation: to deter unionization efforts among employees.
Nintendo maintains Clifton was fired solely for disclosing confidential information. It has not commented on Clifton's latest comments.
Clifton made a formal labor complaint to the NLRB earlier this year, prompting several Nintendo employees to echo that conditions were less than ideal at the company. Many of the company's employees are relegated to temporary employment deals, conversions to full-time positions are rare, and there have been reports of workplace misconduct.