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Nintendo pressured GameStop to fire employee who leaked word of Zelda Switch, worker claims

Can no longer afford pre-order as unemployed.

A Gamestop employee who sparked speculation regarding the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom special edition Nintendo Switch Pro console has claimed they were fired following pressure by Nintendo itself.

While the special edition Switch Pro was only officially confirmed by Nintendo during its Direct broadcast last month, fans had long expected a Zelda-themed model to arrive alongside the upcoming game. Indeed, earlier leaks online had even suggested at its design.

So when Massachusetts GameStop employee Mike (last name kept anonymous) saw a "HW TBD Switch" entry pop up on his store's system hours before the Direct's broadcast, it didn't seem too surprising. Mike snapped a picture of the screen and uploaded it to reddit.

Nintendo plays The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

As Kotaku reports, the reddit post was quickly traced back to Mike using his account name and publicly identifiable details about his identity. Within a week, Mike had met with his manager and been suspended. Within two weeks, he was fired.

Mike said he had made the post to let fans know to be ready to place a pre-order, for example in case stock was hard to find, and said he had not been aware he was breaking any official employee policy.

Nintendo, however, reportedly took a dim view. Mike states he was told by his boss "off the record" that Nintendo had specifically insisted Mike was fired for his post.

Now, Mike has said he'll likely have to give up his Zelda Switch pre-order: "Sadly I won't be able to afford it anymore due to lack of a job," he said.

In other news, Nintendo's lawyers are on the warpath this week as they attempt to force Discord to identify the leaker behind a Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom artbook. A similar case brought by the Pokémon Company over a leaked strategy guide saw the individuals responsible fined $150k each.

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.