Earlier this week it emerged that Nintendo of America and recruitment company Aston Carter have been named in a workers' rights complaint; the complaint alleges actions such as 'discharge' from employment and 'coercive statements'. Nintendo of America issued a response saying that the worker in question was "a contractor who was previously terminated for the disclosure of confidential information".
Now an extensive report has been shared by Kotaku, in which it speaks to current and former Nintendo employees about working conditions, with a focus on part-time and contract workers.
Employees spoken to cite a 'two-tiered' system, with contractors hired through external agencies often on 11-month contracts (and enforced two month breaks afterwards) that work without health and other employment benefits. As an example, some testers reportedly earn as little as $16USD an hour, less than minimum wage in nearby Seattle (Nintendo of America is based in Redmond, Washington).
In terms of the experience within the workplace, named and unnamed sources highlight working 'shoulder to shoulder' with 'red badges' (full-time employees) but are kept 'at arm's length' otherwise. For example while there are benefits like using the employee café, inviting family to visit the in-house museum isn't allowed.
Jelena Džamonja, an employee with over five years in the 'temporary worker cycle', spoke of slipping and banging their head on the way to work. After experiencing potential concussion symptoms in the office they were turned away from the onsite clinic due to their employment status, and a full-time colleague wasn't permitted to drive them to a clinic; eventually an Uber was called. "They want to control you like you’re full-time, but not treat you like a full-time worker," Džamonja told Kotaku.
Other sources suggest full-time contracts are kept 'on a stick' to encourage contractors to work through poor conditions; in some cases many years of work have not resulted in full-time opportunities. Even full-time pay is described as "not great by industry standards", with the lure of working at Nintendo and many eager prospective applicants reportedly setting the balance.
Interviewees also say that discussing their working conditions (even during internal meetings) "could lead to repercussions", including warnings from their recruitment managers or the early termination of their contract.
The report paints a bleak picture of a workplace at Nintendo of America with clear divisions and issues for contractors and part-time workers, with suggestions that the problems are leading to tensions in the building. Kotaku states that Nintendo declined to comment for its article.
You can read the full report at the link below.
As this is a sensitive topic, please keep our Community Rules in mind when discussing it below.
This is unfortunate. But it is also far too common.
If you think this is just Nintendo, you are delusional. Just from the article, the required time break between contracts came about because of actions by Microsoft.
And this type of dumping work on non-permanent workers happens in many industries.
Please remember that "Innocent until proven guilty" applies to the accusers, too.
Nintendo (and indeed the entire gaming industry) has a lot to answer for, and a lot of amends need to be made for workers.
This should not be written off with "they're not forced to work there!" or "well that's just the nature of the business!" because the nature of the business of GAMES (of all things, for crying out loud) should not be dehumanizing.
Shame if true, hopefully things improve.
The gaming industry being a molten [email protected] for developers is why I chose to pursue animation instead. Sure they have it bad too, but physical mistreatment and borderline assault from higher ups isn’t as common there as it is in this industry.
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Please do not think I was saying that this should be written-off. Quite the contrary. (If that was not the purpose of your comment, I apologize in advance).
I just wanted to remind people that it is too common of a practice in far too many industries — so just "trashing" Nintendo which often happens in these comments is not constructive.
This happens in everything from retail (part-time sales staff) to websites (how many survive because people work for free) to academic institutions (adjuncts teaching classes).
It is especially pernicious in the United States where medical coverage is tied to work — rather than through a public (governmental) entity. By this, I mean people are often either contact or part-time employees worked to the point where they would qualify for benefits.
@CharlieGirl will you stop consuming products from nintendo if the accusation are proven to be true?
This is just a reminder that as much as we can put Nintendo on a pedestal as these magical fun-makers, they are a corporation just like any other, and they have to be held accountable for their actions. This stuff isn’t okay, and it will never be okay, and some actions are bad no matter who does them. The abuse of part time employees is one of the lowest things to do in any industry, but especially one when it is not at all required.
In a similar vein, “this is how it works in X place”, or “this happens in the real world” is not an excuse. If I punched you in the face, it would be bad regardless of whether other people get punched in the face in the real world or not. You got punched in the face!
I'm not trying to be a jerk, but that's like, not really different than anywhere else in the US. If you are part time or a temp you shouldn't really expect all that much. It doesn't sound like they're doing anything illegal, just, kinda *****, much like literally every corporation.
I wonder what many ex-employees would say about work conditions at Kotaku though. I don't think they're any different from Nintendo and Nintendolife.
@SuperCharr people like you are infinitely worse than any wrongdoings these companies do on a daily basis.
Shame on you Nintendo. Looks like Nintendo might be joining EA and Activision-Blizzard in my book if they don't get their act together.
@BreathingMiit Because no other system in history has had any kind of abuse?
We need regulation, not pretending it's the economic system.
@icomma I dunno can't keep up with this
time ago when companies like EA and activision blizzard were accused, many people talked trash about them and promise to never buy more games from those companies even youtube channels refused to cover news about them, but I wonder what would happen if a company as beloved and important as nintendo is found guilty of such bad practices. I mean, stop buying starcraft and warcraft is one thing but stop buying zelda and mario?? I want to see how coherent with their morals these people are.
The customer service of Nintendo of Europe is disgusting. I wouldn't be surprised if they are also treated badly which leads to bad customer service. For a company all about family and fun, this does not paint a good picture for them. The billions they make, they can more than afford great working conditions for their employees.
Uh-oh. The floodgates are starting to open...
@SuperCharr ***** if I know. I've read the whole thing and not found it. But it's got to be there hasn't it?
On the one end, this is terrible if true.
On the other end, still salty about Xenoblade X and Tokyo Mirage Sessions getting censored so NoA getting publicly smeared for treating their workers like garbage is pure schadenfreude.
Now let's see what else Nintendo tries to do to cover up this bad press.
@PcTV But regulation inhibits the flow of capital and distorts the free market! What are you? Some kind of feudalist?
Temp agencies are wild. In the UK they take rates of £27-30 an hour and pay their employees £11-14 an hour. We use them in my job to fill gaps in teams while we put ads out for full time recruitment. They serve a purpose but they're usually classed as second tier employees, almost expendable.
Saying that there's ONE thing I don't like about using them. If it turns out the worker is good and they apply for a full time job for us, either us or them have to pay 3 pay period full time wages to the company to employ them. That's 39 x £30 x 4 x 3. What a price to pay.
@Tasuki @SuperCharr everywhere you work, it's all about the dollar. You and I don't matter. I work because I have to but I know I'm not important even though if I walked they'd have they're hands full. I'm sure this person is disgruntled as well. Don't forget, the suits need more money.
Clinics/doctors are supposed to stabilize patients, did this person have a concussion and showed clear symptoms, or were they told they had to go to a hospital if they believed they had a concussion without clear symptoms?
Whatever this smells funny but the multibillion-dollar company can defend itself.
Sounds like a real job. The complaints aren't bad at all. Must be Millennials or that type who aren't used to working for a living and not being ahead. That's life, grow up.
@sonicmeerkat the Injury obviously happened off-site and they didn't want to be liable.
The minimum wage claim isn't exactly true. For one, Seattle's minimum wage is actually flexible based on the type of employment/payment, and it can go as low as $15.75/hour. But Nintendo isn't in Seattle, so that's not exactly relevant. I don't know if Redmond has their own minimum wage requirements, but in the state of Washington minimum wage for all workers is $14.49/hour, so they're a good deal over WA minimum.
What really sucks is if they're making minimum wage AND paying union dues while receiving no benefits from the union, which brings their total pay to below minimum wage, but no one has a problem with that.
And yeah it really sucks but play testers are almost always contract workers and they are almost always at the very bottom of the pecking order. It's what happens when your position is considered the lowest-skilled in the development pipeline.
@BreathingMiit The entire industry exists because of capitalism/capitalistic practices. If you don't like it, you should probably start weaning yourself off of it. Let me know how that goes. But maybe don't do it through this for-profit/capitalistic site.
@icomma I dunno about that guy but having a job with minimal skill requirements doesn't really mean you deserve 30-40% over the minimum wage. It's an entry level job for a reason
Sounds like the US Postal Service. Dangle Full Time status above you will you pick up the slack for overpaid lazy workers.
@Matty1988 without knowing real details.. i agree.. everyone wants more than what they agreed too when “signing up”. Also this is becoming a trend with employees at large big name places… the big N could probably improve too. But i understand you can only have so many FT employees to keep you in the Black, and keep products at prices people will buy them at. I don’t understand why people don’t think leaving and hunting down the right job is what they should be doing any more. I went through 4 jobs in 15 years for better money, conditions, etc.
I blame certain politicians and our public school system, at least in states like my lovely home if NJ. Everyone but the person with the issues needs to change…
Not minimizing what they're dealing with, this is how every contract job I worked at was treated across multiple industries. Par for the course and Nintendo's fault is using a staffing agency because they're all garbage. You're absolutely disposable and when they don't want you any more for any reason you get that dreaded call from your rep. "Just want to let you know, you don't have to go in today." Not to mention the joke of X months to Hire contracts and how much staffing agencies collect on your head for being middlemen. Contract jobs are for the birds.
@BAN "Yet you participate in society! Curious! I am very intelligent."
Know your meme.
@CharlieGirl Keep that same energy when Nintendo is exonerated.
These people are just trying to create fame and nothing more, give it a week and their 5 minutes will be up.
Can’t say I’m shocked. The entire industry has a responsibility to treat their workers with more dignity than they currently do.
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I work at Target, where there is wayyyy worse things going on and nearly every team member is stressed out of their mind these days. Everyday you go home thinking you are going to get in trouble for not getting enough done.
My fiancé always says, “you need to find a different job.” And I always say “yeah, I know. Can’t wait until I don’t have to work at this place anymore.”
Never has she suggested “you should complain online and send a letter to corporate, maybe even call a local news station. The company will be exposed for their terrible treatment of employees and you will get a big fat raise and less responsibilities!”
Don’t like your job? Quit. There are literally millions of jobs that need to be filled and companies begging for help. Sorry, not too saddened by the fact you don’t get to invite your family to Nintendo HQ.
When you say "contractor", do you mean "temp" worker?
Health & Safety regs cover everyone on site - well they do in the UK.
What unions are recognised by Nintendo?
Then again, the USA does not have maternity pay, so the health and wellbeing of staff on a national level is compromised.
File a grievance via your union rep?
@Rambler I don't know where you get your information from on the USA, but most companies in America offer paid maternity leave. I think you're believing too much of the America-is-bad propaganda.
"That is below the 16-week minimum recommended by the World Health Organization. The United States is the only country among the 38 member OECD nations that has not passed laws requiring businesses and corporations to offer paid maternity leave to their employees."
"Most Companies" - In my head what I said referred to a federal law requiring mat leave. What I said was nothing of the sort.
@Rambler lol. Ok buddy. You go ahead and believe what a wiki site says over what someone tells you who has actual experience with the subject. I suppose you believe that all Texans wear cowboy hats, ride horses, and shoot anybody that disagrees with them too.
I'm never happy to hear about even normal types of problematic business nonsense from Nintendo. But the sad reality is this is completely and utterly normal for contract workers. Particularly for a large company. Some people will be mad at NOA for this, and fair enough, but if NOA is yelled at enough to do better...good, but that's one company. The rest will just continue as is. So maybe there needs to be a far bigger change than just yelling at individual companies.
Like if this story came out even 4 years ago, I'd be more mad at NOA specifically. But between the so much worse stuff to come out of game companies, and learning more about how workers are often treated...this is mostly tame. Which sucks.
That being said, whatever management decided the medical gated from contract worker nonsense is a colossal tool. **** that person in particular.
I am curious which groups are coordinating these frail outrage stories for the usual "video game news" sites to report, whose under-35s are naturally eager to do so without question (some with the best intentions, I'm sure, perhaps a few over-35s as well given the video game niche).
One or two relevant stories after the Activision debacle is organic, but this many all running one after the next hitting one company at a time every other week seems highly targeted. People with money to spare are spearheading collectivism in the west — not to imply doing so is even necessary today, western kids create their own propaganda for fun at this point — and it is clearly not "the workers," if these anonymous temp wages are to be believed. I wonder what the big company to be internet-angry at will be in Q3.
Fair enough - I can't argue with that. Plus that wiki article states it's compulsory for companies with over 50 employees.
Edit: mat leave in the USA is most likely to be unpaid wowser
@SuperCharr ah, you said the cliche that was called out in the 2nd comment!
@Flint Have I got the wrong end of the stick, or are you really accusing outlets that run articles about abusive employers of being stooges for Russia?
I dunno... some of this seems to be just commonplace in the work industry. Like, I've worked plenty of part time jobs or done contract work without any benefits. It kinda just comes with the territory, hence the benefits of full time status. Additionally, those benefits cut into your net pay, so there's a trade off. You're told what you're getting and not getting when hired at any job, contract, part time or full time... so I don't get why this article and Kotaku's is making such a big deal out of it?
@BreathingMiit I think you have the wrong end of the stick, yes.
@QueenKittenWrite yes, they want fame. That's why most of them talk outwards anonymously. That makes sense, right?
Or maybe, hear me out, they just want the workplace to be better, but the only way they get heard is when the media brings it up.
But you're probably right. They want to be famous. That is the only reason why anyone ever create attention sounds something. Even anonymously.
@Flint My apologies then. Have a lovely evening.
@Rambler Holy crap! Did you just call @PharoneTheGnome a wowser??
Ehhh probably not. I think I need to get some more sleep.
@Rambler I have 3 children and when my first two were born, my wife got a full 3 months of paid mat leave and I got 4 weeks of paid pat leave... I'm sure that isn't the case across the board, but it gives you a good idea that this isn't the problem that you are presenting it as. My 3rd child is adopted, so no mat leave for that.
Noooo - nothing of the sort! Is that an insult I'm not aware of?
If I hurt myself on the way in to work, then start having complications from my injury (acquired outside of work) my expectation would not be for the company to just take care of my medical needs. Now if they were hurt on the job, that is a very different story. This industry is rife with this type of treatment, but most of this article seems to be just moaning about not getting FT treatment when you are hired as a temp, through a temp agency. Nintendo is well over a 100 years old, does anyone think that this is REALLY the worst thing that they have done or will do moving forward? I certainly hope that nobody is that naive.
Welcome to US Americas work ethics 😬
Paid mat / pat leave varies by state, and obviously by company.
Mat leave of 12 weeks unpaid is by law for a company with 50+ employees.
I made a mistake not referring to a federal level law when I meant to - you could argue that is immaterial in the US as it should be on a state-by-state basis.
Would you look at that, Nintendo is like every other multimillionaire/billionaire company where they don't give a **** about their non-executive employees. Every time hear this story, it's always for the same reason, greed. Ever since the Switch became a hit, it was so apparent that if you somehow didn't see it, you're just a delusional fanboy. You need to get it in your head that Nintendo doesn't care whether or not you exist, only if you're there to buy their products.
I'm so glad everyone is finally realizing all the dehumanizing and cruel treatment done to employees is not the norm and should have never become the criteria for working. If you don't see a problem in how big corporations treat their workers, then that tells me you've lied to yourself enough times to think that's normal for a job. Or you're simply the kind of person who doesn't care for other people's welfare.
It's still vague, and temp workers often have a lot to say when they can't own up on their own decisions. Some people for example are just not worthy of having jobs in the first place. Attitude problems.
See Kotaku, stop reading. Come back when there's a judgement made in the case, not when only accusations exist.
If I worked at Nintendo I go straight to the bosses office and demand to know where are the teams working on f zero, wave race, pilot wings, 1080 etc. They would probably fire me that day but I feel like I would have won a moral victory xxx
Yes and this is not really a valid complaint against Nintendo per se, this is common and if it happens to you, you don't work there the whole reason they are able to do this if the accusation is even remotely true, is that because people allow it as in people buy into it they can always go get a different job.
Even if it's "the nature of the business" you're still a pos if you do it.
Doesn't sound great, but some of the complaints are rather negligible, and it seems like many of the issues with how Nintendo of America handles contract work are more ubiquitous throughout the industry/US as a whole. Kotaku even ends the article by noting that the contractors they talked with had no issues with the work or the people and would've loved to take up full time positions, but that they felt the structure was at fault. Not ideal, but it's a far cry from the allegations that have emerged about many other US gaming companies, where the work environment has been labeled as toxic and demeaning. I certainly hope the situation improves, but this isn't significant enough to make me reconsider buying Nintendo products. And it did feel like the Kotaku article was biased in some respects, throwing in some unproven stuff in addition to providing a few anecdotes trying to frame Nintendo development work in Japan as taxing. If the best thing you can come up with to make that case is the 35 year old story about Koji Kondo having to compose the Zelda theme overnight because they found out they couldn't use the original song they wanted for copyright reasons, then you're not making a very substantial case
@icomma You take on criminals, whiny brats and Karens as workers? Should've put up ads for them as they are worthy I guess.
Like I said, "some people". Who are you though to guesstimate a company's worth?
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@BreathingMiit At this rate, the response you gave is itself a meme. A cliched response that doesn't actually address the core issues with your philosophy and instead seeks to excuse it with a terse dismissal that you hope will act as a silver bullet to my argument but just makes yours seem trite.
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When doesn't Kotaku claim the sky is falling when there's a light rain?
If any of this is true, then sure Nintendo (of America at least, I don't know about their other divisions) has some work to do to rectify this.
As for boycotting Nintendo games, that could be a little tougher than usual, as NoA isn't the one making the games, that would be the developers in Japan or any of their other companies like Monolith Soft or Next Level Games. Maybe importing from Europe or Japan?
@CharlieGirl Church! 👏
Hehe, sounds like part-timers salty about not being full-timers. That literally the norm in the US, so I'm not sure what they were expecting. It's difficult to get full-time work where I am, currently part-time myself, and we don't get anywhere near as many accommodations as the full-timers. Staff parking, wages vs salaries, benefits, etc. You can't expect full-time treatment as a part-timer and you can't just sit around and hope a full-time opportunity presents itself. If it is not presenting itself, then maybe it's time to move on. Don't make exaggerated claims that may hurt your employment prospects in the future.
If you truly love Nintendo, you’ll have the maturity to accept where they’ve gone wrong and want for them to embody whatever fantasy you have of them.
I'm sorry, but temp labor and contingent workers are exactly that. Unless they were onboarded with the promise of their being converted to FTE's after some time, then they are getting what they signed on for. Companies typically use contingent workers for what they perceive as non-core functions, but unless stated explicitly as one of the expectations, there is not an obligation to hire the contingent worker.
In fact, in many cases, it is the vendor who will not allow the customer (Nintendo in this case) to hire the contingent worker, via a non-solicitation clause in their agreement or even a non-compete clause in the individual employment contracts.
Glad to see the free thinkers have plopped out some golden turds in this comment section. Deary me.
I've done contract work. This is just one of the downsides of contracting, with the upside you get paid like double whatever everyone else does. Everyone would just become contractors if it was easy
I worked at a company with contract workers and this is fairly standard. Companies will do what they can to cut corners on costs and using contracted labor is one of them. It's a generally scummy practice and I don't like it anywhere but I hate to echo others and admit this is not special in the case of Nintendo.
As for part timers...I'm a little surprised they employ them but that is also a tactic some companies employ for cutting costs.
I'd argue it's a larger issue than just Nintendo, really. Even if I agree they are accountable.
@BreathingMiit that's really the elephant in the room. Capitalism on the whole is the issue. Something most people, in the US at least, refuse to even mildly criticize.
@BartoxTharglod yeah, I don't think people understand that is why companies use contracted employees, so they don't need to give them benefits.
@icomma I think most of development for the games I like (Zelda, Mario, Kirby) is done in Japan.
I mean. This is a company. Company do a lot of wrong actions. But the other side is people working on the company. And people also do wrong. External people will judge who is the culprit here.
At least there doesn't seem to be worse accusations like those in Activision.
@icomma Difficult isn’t impossible. While the workers deserve better treatment, if you stay in a field amidst such mistreatment, then making a change should be your first goal. Just because something isn’t easy doesn’t mean it cannot or should not be done, especially if the end result is a better industry to work in.
“…the problems are leading to tensions in the building” is some grade-A irony, given that most contractors (call center and testers) are sequestered in an older building on campus away from the main offices (and aren’t allowed to use the front lobby entrance when going to the main building)…
@BartoxTharglod Bruh, I’m not sure you understand the difference between 1099 contracting and the kind of contracting they’re talking about in this article. What you’re describing is usually going to be 1099 contracting, which is almost always highly skilled technical workers who offer their services organized under an individual LLC. They get paid bank because they’re considered to be working for their own company, so they’re responsible for things like paying their own income and social security taxes, providing their own health insurance benefits, and any administrative costs that would normally be covered by an employer. These types of 1099 arrangements are usually pursued by the contractor because they know that (1) they have a skill set rare and valuable enough to get potential employers to go for unconventional employment terms in order to secure their services, and (2) they have the organizational structures in place to logistically handle being their own employer.
What this article is talking about is W-2 contract employees. Rather than being their own employer, these employees work onsite for Nintendo, but are technically employed by a separate contract agency. Nintendo pays this agency a flat rate for services rendered, and that agency pays their employees (I.e. the “contract and part time workers” discussed in the article) an hourly wage, and handles their payroll, taxes, and benefits (if there are any). These agencies are used by Nintendo to handle things like call center services and basic game testing, both of which are generally not considered to be highly technical positions, like what you would see with 1099 contractors.
The criticism here is that this W-2 based third party agency system is HIGHLY exploitative of the w-2 contractors. For example, the agencies often employ a small enough number of people that they are able to take advantages of ACA loopholes designed for small local businesses that allow companies with a certain minimum number of employees to not provide medical insurance benefits (which Nintendo would otherwise have to pay if they employed these workers directly, because they most certainly do not qualify for those loopholes).
@BartoxTharglod THESE types of contract workers are generally treated as second class citizens. They’re often not allowed in the same places as workers employed by Nintendo directly (in this case, contract employees aren’t even allowed to enter the main office building through the front entrance), they often have to go through a different HR to lodge complaints (usually managed by the contract agency, which is heavily incentivized to ignore those complaints in order to avoid rocking the boat with Nintendo, because, after all, why risk their cash cow services contract to stick up for a “replaceable” $16/hr worker), and they are hired through different processes via the contract agencies (who are incentivized to dangle the possibility of this 11-month contract being a foot in the door to internal employment with Nintendo if you just work really really hard, despite knowing that the chances of that happening are only marginally better than winning the lottery).
The system is exploitative and gross, and it’s a problem everywhere in tech. I know because I’ve seen both sides of it. During a career transition, in order to make ends meet for a bit, I worked one of the 11-month contracts this article is talking about at Nintendo in the call center several years ago and saw it all first-hand. I actually left that job to accept my first entry-level position in as a recruiter at a totally separate contract agency in Seattle, and I’ve been in recruiting ever since. Fortunately, I am now employed as an internal recruiter at one of the FAANG companies, and the gray area that contract agencies often operate in is one of the big reasons that I left.
I should also note that what I’ve described here makes the agencies look like the villains, and that’s not entirely fair. It’s a system that is designed to benefit the executives of the companies involved at the expense of the workers (ESPECIALLY the part time and contract workers).
Considering skilled 1099 contractors and W-2 contractors to be the in the same situation, because “oh whatever, they’re all ‘contractors’” is EXACTLY how these executives WANT you to think about all of this, because it makes it so much easier to hand wave away the abusive nature of the system.
I just came to see if the people who canceled mercury steam are moving away from nintendo in light of these accusations
@BartoxTharglod The issue here isn’t “not being treated like a permanent employee”… sure, being treated like a second class citizen sucks, but if that was all it was, that’s something that I can tell you first-hand that those employees could (and do) live with without raising complaints.
The issue here is being underpaid, not being given access to trustworthy HR support, not receiving healthcare benefits, being turned away from onsite medical support in emergency situations, and being exploited in any number of extremely dubious and unethical ways by a system designed to squeeze workers for the benefit of higher ups.
If you don’t like your jobs quit, find another job and stop whining…some of you just don’t know how lucky you are, other people in the world only get paid $8 a day for their work
@BartoxTharglod you got me, I was oversimplifying a bit for the sake of brevity (not that I was all that successful, given how long my comment ended up being anyways). Not all highly skilled technical contractors are hired on a 1099 basis, some are definitely hired on a W-2 temp basis, and a lot of them do do quite well for themselves (again, I speak from experience here, as the first half of my recruiting career was spent hiring software engineers on contract for clients like Microsoft).
The important division here is really more around the relative vulnerability to exploitation of lower paid “unskilled” workers compared to the negotiating leverage and marketability of “skilled” workers.
Like I said, I haven’t been a temp worker in a long time, so you don’t need to tell me. I got out.
I’m glad we agree that the system sucks… and I think recent history with companies like Uber has proven that “whinging about it” publicly is a GREAT way to get companies to start addressing those ***** systems, hence talking about it here.
“Exploitative systems suck, so stop whining and go somewhere less exploitative” is a real great way to make everything worse for everyone. Not holding the people who design and benefit from the exploitative system accountable sends a message to other companies and industries about how easy it is to get away with exploiting their own workers.
Look if you are only a part time or temporary worker, you don’t qualify or get the same benefits as someone working full time.
By tester I assume you mean a video game tester.
You play test video games, yet wonder why you don’t get paid like others. Maybe it’s because your job isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. That’s the problem I have with people complaining about entry level jobs not paying enough. You get paid for the quality of work you do. Not how long it takes. Yeah stocking shelf’s or play testing games may take awhile. But they are no where near important as a some other higher paying jobs. You want to get paid more? Then go learn a trade. Plumbers and electricians make great money. But nobody wants to do the dirty work. They just want to flip burgers but get paid like they are doctors.
But if you disagree with me that is fine. Vote with your wallet, it’s really the only way you can effect them.
That got a lot more ranty than I intended
If you want benefits don’t be a temporary worker. Get a full time job. Learn a trade or go to college. But don’t whine about your entry level, part time job not paying at the level as a full time career.
@blindsquarel you’re really going to try and say that testers aren’t important? Everyone who bought Cyberpunk, Fallout 76 (really ANY Bethesda game) Mass Effect Andromeda, any WWE/Madden/FIFA/NBA2K game, Aliens Colonial Marines, like every Battlefield game, Hello Neighbor, GTA trilogy, and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood… would like to have a word with you
Also, dude, again, we’re not talking about individual’s career decisions here. Like I said (if you had actually read my comment) I haven’t been a contractor in a long time. I have a degree. I make as much or more a year than a lot of the software engineers I used to recruit earlier in my career. I got out, and plenty of other people have too.
That doesn’t make the system any less ***** for people who haven’t gotten out yet, and it doesn’t mean that the people who exploit the system for their own gain should be allowed to keep ***** people over.
To video games they are very important. But we are not talking about quality of video games. We are talking about the real world. And no a part time job is not a career. So don’t expect to get the benefits a full time job would get. Part time jobs are great for college or high school, because they are not meant to be a livable salary. That’s what a career is. Again to anybody complaining about a part time job, go learn a trade or get an education. Don’t rely on others and take initiative.
@BartoxTharglod I think we’re starting to line up with one another here. I totally agree, this is how capitalism works. Supply/Demand, invisible hand of the market, and all that. It’s not always a bad thing either. There’s no economic system that promotes the kind of technological innovation that has given us videogames in the first place better than free-market capitalism. 100% on the same page… vote with your dollars and look out for yourself and your own value first.
Where I think we might disagree is whether the fact that the singular “you” has a responsibility to look out for themselves justifies the statement that those who benefit from exploitative systems have no further responsibility to the plural and indefinite “you”.
From here we could dive into a philosophical debate about the role and existence of business ethics in a free market system, but I’ll be honest, that would put me out of my depth.
Frankly, I’m just not a fan of people (apologies, I don’t mean this as a veiled dig at you personally, but rather a big subset of people arguing on Nintendo’s behalf with a super surface level understanding of the mechanics of what is actually happening) using egalitarianism to hand-wave away exploitation of the little guy. I suppose it’s a consequence of spending a decade in HR.
EDIT: Also, thanks for actually engaging in this debate with me. Refreshing to get into a back and forth with someone who has actual depth and thought to their arguments.
There will always be two faces of Nintendo.
One is the creative side, that creates and publishes some of the best games ever made while producing innovative hardware to play them on.
The other is the corporate side that can be ruthless by shutting down Project M or Melee online tournaments, went to war with video stores back in the 80s, controlled third-party publishers during the NES era, and are willing to throw their weight around to take down anyone who threatens them.
I learned a long time ago to seperate the two Nintendo's. I can enjoy their games and hardware while calling out the corporate end of Nintendo.
They are wrong to take advantage of workers like this, and I do hope appropriate measures are taken against Nintendo.
But I am sure this stuff is common, not just at other video game studios and publishers, but other industries as well.
16 USD is considered "as little as"? In my country that is considered an amazing salary. I earn around 11 USD per hour and I consider it a great salary.
@BAN If you're doubling down then I suppose you really do think that the point you're making is a good one?
I'm not in the mood, but I'll do you a favour.
When you mockingly point out that I cannot opt out of the whole capitalist system and still be part of this conversation, you are making my point for me. Of course you have to work with the prevailing system in order to live, even if you can barely earn enough to scrape by.
Gameplay testers trade hours and hours of their lives for ***** pay and conditions. As a human being with empathy, I think that sucks.
So if you find yourself in that position, what can you do? Move to a city where testers are paid better? Retrain? For a lot of people those are not options. For example, if you're low paid, you may well not have the means to.
So should they not have trained as testers in the first place? Perhaps. But then the fault is on the dishonest person who took their money to train them for an oversubscribed job where they'd be exploited. I bet that wasn't part of the sales pitch. And anyway, that doesn't help our tester now.
So do they abandon their testing career and get an entry level job in a different field? I guess that's what they're having to do, but those entry level jobs are going to be just as crappy. There's always someone who's a dollar more desperate than you, so it's a race to the bottom. That's the system you're defending.
So now what? Your suggestion is to not participate in the capitalist economy at all if it's so bad? Yeah, like you say: Good luck with that. The status quo is very well protected by laws and social pressure. If you ran off and lived in the woods you'd probably end up arrested for something, and it's hardly the dignified existence we're seeking.
So we're all stuck in this exploitative system, and you mock folks for complaining about it on a website that happens to exist under capitalism? My dude, the system doesn't need you to enforce it. You're being chumped into volunteering for it.
This is bad. Not Activision bad, but still very bad indeed. Nintendo needs to fix this ASAP or things won't look pretty for the company.
I also see that it's on the American division of Nintendo, and I hear Nintendo employees in Japan are quite happy. Guess I now have a better idea of employee treatment in America.
@icomma I'm saying the person complaining is pathetic and needs to grow up.
Look, you may have got shot in the leg at your job. So what? You're not dead. Stop whining and get back to work, people. I got shot at my job, so I'd rather make sure that other people continue to suffer too instead of none of us having to suffer. Kids these days, amiright fellas? #destroyedbyfactsandlogic
Statements like: "this happens everywhere", or "this is common", are the exact mindset that supports this things to still happen. In a day and age where everyone is "woke" and "pro civil rights", it does seem we do turn a blind eye more often than not. As long as those Apples, Zeldas, Halos, Red Dead Redemptions and whatnots keep coming, we certainly don't mind. We will defend you, but please keep bring us some Zelda.
-What you said? You've been working 24/7, minimum wage? Well, at least you still have a job......
All workers deserve to be treated with dignity, however.
@BreathingMiit well ***** said
The games are fun but making them its not so much.
Oh cry me a River....
It was me who thought of "Switch Sports", and you think I care Nintendo is actually using the name 'Switch Sports' and releasing the game finally after I thought of it 4 years ago!?! ....NO
Because I Respect Nintendo!
@SmashFan347 😆 🤣 😂
@NintendoEternity Imagine respecting a company more than it’s actual employees. Fun fact: Nintendo does not respect you. And also, what you are saying makes absolutely no sense
@Lem1697 exactly it's a joke 😆 🤣
And NO company respects their employees, we are all just numbers whether we like it or not 🤷♂️
In my country that is considered an amazing salary. I earn around 11 USD per hour and I consider it a great salary.
@xmkbest I find it extremely ironic that a commentator from Poland would make this comment on a British website.
Has it occurred to you that, once conditions in Poland improve sufficiently that people there are paid better wages, companies will just cut you off at the knees and move to Moldova, Serbia, Singapore, or anywhere else they can hire "cheap labour"? I don't think you know what this is all about, champ.
@icomma did not mean to crap on them, but and I do understand if they want to work in the gaming industry with Nintendo I'm sure it's very hard and you have to go in at the bottom of the totem pole. I am blessed to live in Dallas Texas, we actually have a worker shortage.
I wonder how many folks that get into a very low level job like described in this article, how many of them have a chance to move up in the company, of course assuming they have some skills?
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