Nintendo has lost its point person for indie outreach, as the company's head of digital content Dan Adelman confirmed his departure today. Adelman broke the news with his first tweet in almost a year.
"Happy to announce I reached an arrangement w/ @NintendoAmerica whereby I can tweet again," Adelman said. "Arrangement includes my not working there anymore."
In an interview with Kotaku, Adelman said his prolonged absence from social media and the press was a result of people at Nintendo being upset when his personal views did not line up with the company's official positions on various policies like region locking or religious content.
"I had been strongly encouraged to stay off of Twitter--or at least say only things that were clearly safe--so after the region-locking comment they just said I needed to stop completely," Adelman said. "When people started complaining that I wasn't active on Twitter anymore, it was suggested that a PR person could just post in my name. I thought that was about the worst idea I'd ever heard, so I left it as is and let the silence speak for itself."
Adelman said the gag order was frustrating, as Twitter had been a useful tool for indie developers to make contact with him.
"We were back to presenting ourselves as a behemoth, faceless company, which I saw as a major step backward," Adelman explained.
As for Adelman's next move, he has started his own outfit offering business development and marketing assistance to small developers.
"I've given a lot of business advice to different developers over the years which I think has been helpful, but I think to do it right and really help the indie scene grow to its real potential, it needs to be a full time thing," Adelman said. "So what I'm planning on doing is working directly with several indie game studios as their business guy--whatever that really means. In the same way that a core dev studio needs a programmer, designer, artist, and sound person, I think there's also a need for a business person. It's definitely a different kind of role than the other ones, but it can be really critical, since one smart business decision can cut your costs in half or double your sales - and vice versa."
Adelman had been with Nintendo since 2005. Prior to that, he worked with Microsoft as the business development manager behind Xbox Live Arcade.