When the mobile game Phone Story was banned from Apple’s app store, it raised further awareness about questions of human rights violation that encircled the production of iPhones, from outsourced labor in China to the controversial extraction of precious minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a war zone.
Apple isn’t the only technology manufacturer complicit in these heated issues, as many devices require precious minerals linked to funding war in Congo. Recently, the Enough Project, a group dedicated to holding companies accountable to the sources of their manufactured products, ranked Nintendo as the worst company on their list due to Nintendo’s unwillingness to take efforts in using conflict-free minerals. In response, Nintendo publicly gave a deflective answer. From Kotaku:
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.
It’s unclear what social responsibility Nintendo are taking seriously in regards to material production, and it has yet to be seen whether they will take steps in the future to limit or eradicate partnerships with manufacturers using minerals from zones of ethical conflict.