Nintendo Russia CEO berates staff with slurs during livestream

BTW

A redditor who goes by u/Whoopsht posted a video on Nov. 13 showing a Mario Kart livestream during Russia’s “Level Up Days,” an event allowing fans to try out Nintendo titles. The video shows Yasha Haddaji, CEO and general manager of Nintendo Russia, losing his temper on-screen—using words like “retard” and threatening to fire employees.

Due to Haddaji’s outburst, only a glimpse of the livestream from the event’s third day is currently viewable. Fans who saw the stream were able to grab copies in the 12-hour window in which it was deleted but saved on VK, Russia’s main social media network. A clip shot to the top of Reddit’s widely popular videos forum on Friday.

The video, shared originally to YouTube by Save Nintendo, began with an explanation of the struggles Nintendo Russia has been experiencing so far, including a lack of options in the Russian language. The video’s creator, presumably Whoopsht, claimed that Nintendo Russia’s sales issues are mostly born of poor marketing techniques and mismanagement among upper-level staff.

NIntendo of Russia SaveNintendo/YouTube

“There is a huge amount of gossips (sic) circulating around about what is working at Nintendo of Russia,” the video explained. “People are leaving because of Yasha’s bad temper and lack of self-control.” According to the text, Haddaji strives to hamstring ex-employees, preventing them from finding further work.

The livestream began after a previous stream experienced technical difficulties. Several times throughout the video Haddaji could be heard calling staff members “retard” and threatening to fire employees. The mortified hosts did their best to conceal Haddaji’s outbursts, covering their mics anytime he began a rant and loudly announcing the game. Their efforts fell flat, unfortunately, as Haddaji stubbornly shouted over their voices and stood directly behind them, visible throughout much of the stream.

Nintendo of Russia SaveNintendo/YouTube

The video dissolves into a special kind of chaos at about the 9:30 mark. After Haddaji reentered to demand the hosts and gameplay be visible on the same screen, it fully glitches out. Seizure-inducing waves of spotty video overtook the painfully lagging stream over the sound of Haddaji again threatening to fire someone.

When the video finally returned to the hosts, they had a short whispered discussion about the unprofessional behavior happening around them. “It’s so fucked up,” one host said, according to the translation. “I, really, won’t be a part of the next event,” his companion responded.

In the background, Haddaji again entered the frame. Arguing with another employee, he switched to English to ask questions about the stream. “Just fucking streaming now?” he asked the employee, gesturing irately at the screen in front of the hosts. “Maybe you wanna tell them that you’re fucking streaming?”

Nintendo of Russia SaveNIntendo/YouTube

The end of the video is focused entirely on the hosts, with no gameplay, though the game can be heard continuing in the background. Just before the video concludes, Haddaji bursts back into the frame and demands that the stream be stopped immediately.

“Nintendo of Europe, please fire Yasha and hire some passionate person instead,” the creator wrote at the end of the video. “We want your helping hand.” There is no word yet on how officials at Nintendo have reacted to Haddji’s behavior, but the video—along with pleas from fans to expel Haddaji—are sure to get their attention.

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.