Japan’s biggest business publication and giant media corporation Nikkei recently reported on some of the latest behind Konami’s troubles, with allegations surrounding their work environment, employees, and more. [Thanks, Kotaku.]
According to the Nikkei report, Konami’s video game division, known for its various console game developments over the past few decades, has worsened around 2010 when their mobile title Dragon Collection became a hit.
Due to its low development cost and high profit returns, they’ve begun to shift their focus away from traditional console titles towards cheaper and potentially more lucrative social titles.
As a side note, the Nikkei also reports that Metal Gear Solid V’s development costs have surpassed 10 billion yen, or $80 million USD.
Here’s a breakdown of the Nikkei report’s allegations, courtesy of Kotaku:
- Kojima Productions is now simply known as “Number 8 Production Department,” and the computers of their section are allegedly not connected to the Internet and are only able to send internal messages.
- Employees that leave the company during their lunch break have their absences monitored with time cards. Those who stay out too long are having their names announced throughout the company.
- There are cameras in the office corridors that aren’t for security, but to monitor the employees throughout the company.
- Most of Konami’s employees don’t have their own company email addresses, except for the PR that deal with people outside the company. The other employees have email addresses that get routinely randomized and changed every few months.
- Konami game developers that aren’t seen as useful are reassigned to jobs as security guards, cleaning staff at the company’s fitness clubs, or roles at a pachi-slot machine factory. In 2013, Asahi News reported that a former Konami staff member who allegedly went from development to working in a Konami pachi-slot factory, which caused him to experience severe depression.
- The said employee announced on Facebook that they were leaving Konami and got a new job elsewhere. Konami then monitored the Facebook post, and the remaining staff who “liked” the post were all reshuffled within the company, says Nikkei.
We previously reported that long-running board game-style video game Momotaro Dentetsu creator had some trouble with the company. Konami also removed the “Kojima Productions” branding from their Metal Gear Solid website earlier this year, which followed by reports indicating that Kojima will leave the company at the end of the year.