If You Want Fair, Be Prepared for the Carny Rides

Last week, word came that former Treehouse employee, Chris Pranger, was fired by Nintendo of America. For a lot of people this did not come as much of a surprise knowing the track record of Nintendo and company secrecy. However, for a select few it seems they felt it was unfair for him to get fired.

One person, in particular, took to the public platform of Twitter to express his disdain for the decision and actually “blast” Nintendo for it. What’s funny is, every time he decides it’s his place to take Nintendo to task, he makes sure to talk about his love for the company which I truly find to be a laughing matter!

First, for background, check him out:

So, as you can see this rant from Cliff Bleszinski was a bit amateurish and really flaw-laden, to say the least. Now, some of you reading may immediately disagree with me, and others may say, you’re absolutely right. Either way, hear me out.

What “Cliffy B” (not my nickname for him) is not addressing is the multi-layered amount of error in his assumptions. Now, keep in mind none of us knows definitively what Mr. Pranger’s violation was, but I trust that as secretive as Nintendo is about EVERYTHING, especially Treehouse and its employees, it was undoubtedly serious enough for termination.

Something that I am sure “Cliffy B” is very aware of, there are things called confidentiality agreements (CAs) and they are put in place to ensure that certain information is kept secret. Anyone who follows Nintendo as a company, knows that until recently, no one outside the company was even allowed to see the doors outside the Treehouse, let alone discuss the internal workings of the people inside.

Following along with even the most basic of CAs, one would know that discussing things related to privileged information is prohibited.

Technical and business information relating to Discloser’s proprietary ideas, patentable ideas copyrights and/or trade secrets, existing and/or contemplated products and services, software, schematics, research and development, production, costs, profit and margin information, finances and financial projections, customers, clients, marketing, and current or future business plans and models, regardless of whether such information is designated as “Confidential Information” at the time of its disclosure.

Pranger’s appearance on the Part-Time Gamers podcast, although very informative and entertaining for listeners, was quite ill-advised. Again, something I am sure “Cliffy B” completely understood, it wasn’t Pranger’s appearance on the podcast that was the issue, it was the information he disclosed in violation of even a basic CA that was the issue.

3. Recipient shall limit disclosure of Confidential Information within its own organization to its directors, officers, partners, members and/or employees having a need to know and shall not disclose Confidential Information to any third party (whether an individual, corporation, or other entity) without the prior written consent of Discloser. Recipient shall have satisfied its obligations under this paragraph if it takes affirmative measures to ensure compliance with these confidentiality obligations by its employees, agents, consultants and others who are permitted access to or use of the Confidential Information.

The bottom line is, Chris Pranger shared a lot of information that he agreed not to share, and when he did so, he was subject to the consequences. Those consequences obviously come with the ups and downs of reality and the spinning feeling you’re left with afterward.

Now, it’s obvious that Nintendo in recent Cliffy B Shocked Faceyears has become one of, if not, the most transparent gaming companies around. And to question them on the premise that their firing of Chris Pranger was due to a lack of transparency was ridiculous.

I think it’s pretty apparent that I am not a fan of “Cliffy B”‘s integrity, and I often question his motives and even his sincerity. It is baffling to me how he chooses a public forum to take issue with Nintendo, as if he’s some appointed disciplinarian taking the company to task.

He says that he’s a long-time Nintendo fan, and that may have been true at some point, but when was the last time he brought a game to a Nintendo system…any of them? I know, since he and I are merely a year apart in age, we share some of the same Nintendo history and I am a fan, so if I were a game designer, as well, I would have made sure at least ONE of my games was on one of their platforms in the last 24 years.

Just a thought…just a thought!

At the end of the day, Chris Pranger was fired for violating his CA, and if a 24-year veteran in the industry is oblivious to that, then what has he been doing all this time? If he feels it’s unfair for Pranger to have dealt with the consequences of his actions, then I can’t wait to hear all the details of what he’s got brewing over at Boss Key Productions. Obviously there’s a free license to share information current employees, right?

False indignation, no matter how loud it may be, is still FALSE! What was the deal with that?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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