Nintendo Specifically Bars Japanese Partners From Working With the Yakuza

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Nintendo has an official clause in its contracts that stipulates any Japanese developers or publishers it works with cannot be tied to organised crime groups such as the Yakuza.

Documents and details about the inner workings of the games industry are currently being revealed as part of the ongoing Epic Games vs Apple trial. A highly confidential and heavily-redacted Nintendo document has been doing the rounds as a result. Within that document is a section on “Anti-Social Forces,” spotted by Stephen Totilo of Axios Gaming.

The document notes that if a ‘Content Provider’ is based in Japan, it can not be an “Anti-Social Force” or “Boryokudan” (a Japanese term that means ‘violence groups’, or organized crime groups). Effectively, the document imposes a black and white ban on partners working with the Yakuza.

If the developer or publisher wishes to work with Nintendo, they are also not allowed to ”give monetary benefits to an Anti-Social Force,” “use threat or violence in connection with transactions” or “interfere with the business of Nintendo Entities by spreading false rumours, using fraud or force,” the document reads.

Of course, this doesn’t bar Nintendo from working with game studios that are making games about organized crime groups in Japan, such as Ryu Ga Gotoku’s Yakuza series. However, In the past, Yakuza series producer Daisuke Sato has said that the Nintendo Switch is not the “ideal“ platform to develop Yakuza games on.


Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.

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