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Nintendo’s Doug Bowser calls Activision crisis ‘distressing’ in note to employees

All three console makers have now criticized Activision in notes to their workers

Nintendo logo on swirly background Graphic: James Bareham/Polygon

Another of Activision’s console partners has weighed in on that company’s sex harassment and discrimination crisis, telling employees that the events surrounding the Call of Duty maker “distressing and disturbing.”

Fanbyte reports that Doug Bowser, the president of Nintendo of America, sent NOA workers an email saying the company has been “in contact with Activision, [has] taken action and are assessing others.” A Nintendo representative later confirmed the email’s contents.

Bowser added that the allegations leveled against Activision and its CEO Bobby Kotick in last week’s Wall Street Journal story are “distressing and disturbing.”

It’s not entirely clear what Bowser meant by taking action and assessing others, but his comments are consistent with statements Microsoft and Sony made last week.

On Thursday, Xbox head Phil Spencer also called the events disturbing, and said that Microsoft is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments,” Bloomberg reported.

Meanwhile, PlayStation chief executive Jim Ryan criticized Activision for not doing enough to address its “deep-seated culture of discrimination and harassment.”

It’s worth noting that Nintendo isn’t exactly one of Activision’s premiere platforms. There hasn’t been a Call of Duty game on a Nintendo platform since 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts and there’s never been one on Nintendo Switch. However, Blizzard has published several games for Switch recently including Diablo 2: Resurrected and Overwatch.

[Disclosure: Casey Wasserman is on the board of directors for Activision Blizzard as well as the board of directors of Vox Media, Polygon’s parent company.]

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