Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei has published a damning report on the current situation facing employees at Konami. The article (opens in new tab) itself is behind a paywall and in Japanese but a number of different translations of the piece corroborate to reveal a grim working environment for current staff. We've got in touch with Konami who 'will not be commenting' on the matter.
Translated by freelance Japanese localiser Thomas James in this summary (opens in new tab), the report reveals that a whopping $80 million was spent on the development of Metal Gear Solid 5 by April. It's unknown whether this was the initial reason for Kojima's name being removed from the MGS games (opens in new tab) and the dissolving of Kojima Productions (opens in new tab) but it is mentioned that a delay on the project may have led to the very public and still somewhat mysterious falling out.
More worrying however are the reports of the treatment of staff. As translated by Kotaku (opens in new tab), staff members are monitored for their lunch breaks using time cards and if there is lateness then their names are announced across the whole company. Most surprisingly of all, Konami game developers who are deemed not useful are reassigned to security guard roles or as cleaning staff within fitness clubs run by the company. Dr Serkan Toto (opens in new tab), CEO of a a Tokyo based consultancy, tweeted the below.
@JeffGrubb @markmacd Konami, i.e. they are saying underperforming employees had to clean up garbage at Konami’s fitness clubs. Man...August 3, 2015
On another occasion a member of staff announced a new job on Facebook and other members of staff who liked the post subsequently had their job roles rearranged. This is a damning reveal of life within the company if it proves to be true. It sounds like Kojima is better off out of there.
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