Report: Konami's Stifling Workplace

by Matthew Kato on Aug 03, 2015 at 03:17 AM

Trouble has been brewing for a while around Konami, and a new report from Japanese newspaper Nikkei fills in some troubling details.

Kotaku has a translation of Nikkei's report which paints a picture of a company not only tight on the purse strings, but seemingly very controlling with its employees.

The report states that Konami's pivot to mobile because of the high revenues/lost development cost of Konami's mobile hit Dragon Collection in 2010, brought with it a new philosophy towards its employees as well. 

Among the charges in the report include:

  • The computers in Kojima Productions (now simply known as Number 8 Production Department) are not connected to the internet and can only send messages internally.
  • Employees' who leave the office during lunch time are monitored by time cards, and those who take too long have their names announced throughout the company.
  • Developers – including relatively high-ranking ones – who aren't seen as "useful," have been reassigned to jobs such as security guard and to the cleaning staff at one of Konami's health clubs.
  • The company once monitored the farewell Facebook post of a soon-to-be-leaving employee who had gotten a job at another company. Any Konami employees who liked the post were reshuffled within the company.

Go over to Kotaku for the full details.

We will reach out to Konami and update this story if necessary.

[Source: Nikkei via Kotaku]


Our Take
If this report is true, Konami's change from inspired developer to mobile sweatshop is truly disappointing. While such draconian measures may indeed cut costs and de facto serve to rein in developers and their projects, you can only stifle people so much before the house of cards collapses. Under these apparent conditions, who's going to be inspired to make the next Dragon Collection?