Nintendo will replace Chris Niosi in the lead role of its recently released role-playing game Fire Emblem: Three Houses and mobile title Fire Emblem Heroes following allegations of abuse against the actor made by multiple ex-girlfriends and colleagues over the past few weeks.
“After assessing the situation, we decided to rerecord the character’s voiceovers in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Fire Emblem Heroes with another actor. The new voiceovers will be included in a future patch,” a Nintendo of America spokesperson said Monday in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Niosi voiced the male version of the playable protagonist Byleth in the Fire Emblem games. He will be replaced by Zach Aguilar, known for voicing roles in popular anime such as One Punch Man.
Allegations against Niosi were first made public in a blog post by an ex-girlfriend of the actor (who refers to herself as Amy). “Chris Niosi is abusive and people need to know the truth about him,” she wrote, before leveling such allegations against Niosi as “physically manhandl[ing] me in front of my friends at a get-together” and “planning to sexually take advantage of me when I was very intoxicated.”
Further posts followed from other colleagues and exes of Niosi, alleging a pattern of “abusive behavior” from the actor and evidence that he broke an NDA with Nintendo of America disclosing his role as Byleth in Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Niosi addressed the allegations in his own blog post last week, offering individual apologies to a number of those who leveled accusations against him and stating that the process made him feel “legitimately suicidal.”
“I’m not looking for forgiveness,” Niosi wrote. “I only hope I am finally taking the first true step to being a better person and I will do my best to never let anyone else down, or hurt anyone else I care about ever again.”
The Fire Emblem series originally debuted in 1990; Three Houses is the latest title in the franchise and launched last week. Most popular in Japan, the Fire Emblem games have sold over 13 million copies worldwide. The male version of the character Byleth was introduced in Three Houses and was added to the Heroes mobile game to coincide with the release of Three Houses on the Switch (a female version of the character was already available). Niosi was the first to voice the role.