The now former United States localization editor for Nintendo, Chris Pranger, announced he had been let go after comments regarding the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles and localization costs. Pranger, a Nintendo Treehouse employee, spoke briefly about the cost of bringing Xenoblade Chronicles to the North American region during a Part Time Gamer podcast last Monday. Pranger said on the stream that translating Xenoblade Chronicles for English speaking users is largely a waste of money, and spoke directly to fans of the series. He defended his position, saying, “And they just say the classic “Why do you hate money? Why do you hate money, Nintendo?…And we’ll be like “Yeah, we do want money, which is why we know it’s a colossal waste if we ever try to localize that in this current market, because look at you people. You don’t make up a big enough group.”
Xenoblade Chronicles is a popular RPG in Japan and has a growing base in the United States, but is not as well known as other Nintendo titles. The localization effort is likely a part of the growing desire to promote Nintendo’s Japanese titles to Western regions, with Nintendo of Europe deciding to eat the cost for localization in the case of Xenoblade Chronicles. Apparently, Nintendo executives took issue with Pranger’s open commentary on the issue, and he announced on Twitter and Facebook that he had been fired.
Pranger offered more details on his Facebook, clarifying that it had been directly because of the podcast. It was since made no longer accessible to the public, largely because it was personal and emotional in nature. He started the post clarifying the reason he was fired, “As many of you have probably seen, I am no longer at Nintendo. I was terminated this week due to a podcast appearance I made last Monday. It was a stupid judgment call on my part and ultimately it cost me far more than I could have imagined.” Nintendo has not yet commented on Pranger’s status. At the time Xenoblade Chronicles 3D was released in the West on the New Nintendo 3DS, the series had sold more copies in the West than in Japan.