We already heard sad news about Hideo Kojima?s conflict with Konami, now we are hearing news of the poor working conditions inside the once fabled Japanese game publisher
Japanese newspaper Nikkei published an article about the current situation the employees of Konami are experiencing. The article describes the grim working condition that these Japanese have to endure as they continue to work with Konami.
Konami, the Japanese developer and publisher was known for its famous game titles such as Castlevania, Suikoden, Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid, has been through a lot of issues from the recent month, especially with the debacle with Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, causing for the removal of his name on the cover from all upcoming Metal Gear Solid games, including the Phantom Pain.
According to the report from Nikkei, the change of the working environment started in 2010 when Konami launches a mobile game called Dragon Collection, it became an instant hit. Since developing mobile games cost lower and can gain a large profit, Konami decided to change their focus from the hardcore games to cheap social games.
As the result of the shift, Konami has changed its treatment towards its employees, some of the changes were listed:
- Kojima Productions is now called as Number 8 Production Department. All of their computers are not connected to the internet and can only send internal messages.
- Employees leaving their offices during lunch breaks have their absences clocked with time cards, those who stayed out for too long will have their names announced in the company.
- Cameras in the office corridors are not used for security, it is to monitor the employees? movements.
- All employees do not have a permanent company email addresses with the exception of the Sales and PR. The rest will have randomized email addresses and will be changed every few months.
- Konami game developers who are not useful in certain projects are reassigned to jobs such as security guards, cleaning staff in fitness clubs or pachinko slot machine factories.
- When a staff announced his new job on Facebook and some of the staff liked the post, Konami will reassigned them to a different job position.
It was a harsh reality for the Konami employees, with a change of business model, it has greatly affected the entire system of company. It is now quite understandable on why some well-known developers such as Koji Igarashi (Castlevania) and now Kojima have left the once mighty company.