Infamous game developer Konami is under fire for strict employee practices after a well-known Japanese publication reported on their cruel treatment. It’s seems more and more controversy is starting around the company since the departure of well-liked game designer Hideo Kojima.
The very public split between Kojima and Konami has sparked a few more rumors after the company removed his name from the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V box before the game designer even officially left. It created an unfavorable image with the apparently vindictive gesture.
Budget concerns, such as the fact that Metal Gears Solid V cost $80 million, and game cancellations seemed to have rooted the problem, with much anticipated videogame Silent Hills removed from the list of projects, after announcing the involvement of Hollywood director Guillermo Del Toro and ‘The Walking Dead’ actor, Norman Reedus, to voice the main protagonist.
Now, a Japanese publication, Nikkei, has delved deeper into the issues of Konami and uncovered some disturbing facts about their treatment of employees. According to the newspaper, which is available online to subscribers only, the company monitors all of its employees through security cameras, with particular attention on how long their lunch breaks take.
Those who take too long are widely shamed throughout the company as their name is being called out for the apparently grave offense. The Konami employees also do not have their own e-mails, and have to use addresses of random numbers that change every other month, in order to communicate. The exception only stands for the PR department and sales.
And what is finally the most concerning aspect is reportedly their very thin patience for failure or those they deem “useless”. Employees who perform below the standard are taken off their jobs and sent to other departments that have nothing to do with game development, such as pachi-slot factories or janitorial staff for the gym.
Konami has never truly been a well beloved game developer to begin with, suffering from great unpopularity within the gaming community to rival EA (Electronic Arts), and this has surely come as an addition to the list of things they do wrong.
It may be a false accusation, but Nikkei aligns well with a report in 2013 by Asashi News, where an employee from Konami has been moved from game development to a lesser job and caused him great depression. Upon announcing his departure from the company on Facebook, every employee who clicked the “Like” button were then relocated within the company as well.
It paints a bad picture for the Japanese company and pouring fuel to an already large fire that might come back to burn them down one day.
Image source: kotaku.com