Nintendo Criticized For Not Doing Enough To Keep ‘Conflict Materials’ Out Of Their Products

Nintendo Criticized For Not Doing Enough To Keep ‘Conflict Materials’ Out Of Their Products

Many of the materials used to make electronic devices are helping fuel ongoing bloody wars in the Congo — and a new report accuses Nintendo of not doing enough to ensure that their game machines aren’t part of that deadly conflict.

The Enough Project, a watchdog group that monitors “genocide and crimes against humanity,” published a report this week lauding tech companies like Intel and Apple for taking “significant steps” to avoid that the materials they use are not “conflict materials” from the Congo. The report says Nintendo has “failed to make any known effort to trace or audit its supply chain, despite growing public awareness.”

“Nintendo is, I believe, the only company that has basically refused to acknowledge the issue or demonstrate they are making any sort of effort on it,” the Enough Project’s Sasha Lezhnev told CNN. “And this is despite a good two years of trying to get in contact with them.”

Nintendo, meanwhile, sent CNN a statement to defend itself, claiming it “outsources the manufacture and assembly of all Nintendo products to our production partners and therefore is not directly involved in the sourcing of raw materials that are ultimately used in our products.”

“We nonetheless take our social responsibilities as a global company very seriously and expect our production partners to do the same,” Nintendo said.

Tech companies make progress on ‘blood phones’ and ‘conflict minerals’ [CNN]


      • Indeed, Nintendo is only a small company, it’s not like they could weigh heavily on them to change their material sources.

      • Do you remember all those advertisers canceling their adds because Carl Sanderslander made stupid comments on his show? The advertisers simply bought air time and didnt directly tell the company sanderlands wroks for to make him say that stuff either. They pulled their adds because they didnt want to be associated with him or his network. Nintendo simply saying its outsources its manufacturing would have been like those companies saying its not their fault the network they use to sell their products and services hires a complete moron.
        Simply not being the one doing bad things doesnt make you any less responsible if you do nothing about it when you know nor not trying to make sure its not happening with anything you do in the after you have been made aware it could possibly be happening.

      • Yes, but the onus is on Nintendo to ensure their manufacturers don’t use these materials, and penalize them if they do. Which is what just about every major electronics manufacturer has been doing for years.

  • You can’t really blame Nintendo on this. They aren’t sourcing the materials and they have no real say over where their partners source materials. They can make suggestions, but ultimately, they can’t do anything except cut production of their product, something that isn’t going to happen.
    By this logic, we should blame everyone who bought a Nintendo product since they DO have contol over what they buy.

    • You certainly can blame Nintendo for this. It’s a simple case of them not wishing for their manufacturers to procure the materials in conflict zones. If it means the end product needs to be a bit more expensive, then considerations should be made. Stating that it is the same thing as blaming consumers of Nintendo is not entirely fair. It is not like each seperate person is a major purchaser, not to mention if you want a Nintendo product you have to buy it from Nintendo. If you want some iron ore, you have plenty of options.

  • So Enough Project are saying the best way to stop wars in the Congo is to destroy its export market?
    To quote a certain Aussie sniper, “As long as there’s two people left on the planet, someone is going to want someone dead.”
    You can’t stop people from fighting each other by taking away their money, machetes don’t use bullets.

  • What I don’t get is that with all this – it’s still costs $70 for a friggin Mario game – why are they passing the slaving onto us!!!

  • Why are they picking on Nintendo? Surely Microsoft and Sony are not doing any better.

    Get over the Mario price, it’s a AAA title and it’s Australia

  • The raw material may not even be from the conflict zone so ease up until all facts are known. The article states Nintendo have not made an effort to trace the raw material but that does not mean the outsourced manufacturers are getting it from the conflict zone

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!