Did you know Nintendo operates in Russia? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t.
The Nintendo market in Russia is small – prior to 2012, there had only been 700 3DS sales in the country. Nintendo only recently doubled down in the motherland, opening a Russian branch in 2012 and giving Breath of the Wild a Russian translation (the first Zelda game to get one). Now Nintendo of Russia is making a big splash – just not in a good way.
The Live Stream That Went Wrong
Back in July, Nintendo Russia CEO Yasha Haddaji had a meltdown during a live stream of its Level Up Days event. The reason? Haddaji didn’t get a notification that the live stream had started.
It wasn’t his staff’s fault – the Russian social media site VK doesn’t always send notifications to every follower. That didn’t stop Haddaji from storming the live stream, firing a crew member for a technical error, and cursing up a storm with words that start with F, S, and R. You know, the bad ones.
Sadly, just as the poor hosts try to resume the broadcast, Haddaji shuts down the live stream and deletes the footage.
The event lasted three days, but the footage from the “tantrum day” never went live. That is, until YouTube account “Save Nintendo” uploaded his own footage of the incident. Apparently, VK hosts a temporary version of any recording for 12 hours after deletion. You can watch it here.
Nintendo of Russia’s Cry For Help
Haddaji’s outburst is only the tip of the iceberg: the CEO is brash, unfriendly, and makes characteristically-poor decisions.
He discontinued Pokémon trading cards in Russia and blamed it on import prices. His team’s decisions forced a shortage of Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! – “Russians don’t recognize any other Pokémon but Pikachu” – and he blames the lack of Russian game translations on fans and poor sales.
Russia consumers argue that the CEO acts against Nintendo’s own self-interests, and they’ve had enough. A petition to remove Haddaji from his position has already garnered 1,500 signatures.
Sign it if you want to support your fellow gamers, but the best way to help is to spread the word. Corporations only make changes when their image is on the line. Trust me, Nintendo is eyeing for a big holiday season. They definitely wouldn’t want this story to hit the mainstream.
You know what to do.