Nikkei Report Reveals Konami’s Toxic Corporate Culture

Gaming company Konami has been in the news alot lately, but for all the wrong reasons. A newly translated report from Nikkei portrays Konami as a troubling place to work. It’s been no secret that the company has been making unpopular changes in the eyes of gamers recently, but this report demonstrates that employees are in hot water themselves.

According to Nikkei, the troubles at Konami can be traced back to the release of Dragon Collection for mobile in 2010. The mobile title proved so profitable that Konami began to clamp down on traditional (more expensive to make) retail games. In the time since, the creative leads on Castlevania, Love Plus, and Suikoden have left the company over disagreements with higher ups.

Meanwhile, development team Kojima Productions has been renamed “Number 8 Production Department”. Backing up a GameSpot report from March, employees have had their email access restricted to random email addresses and their internet access revoked. Many employees at Konami are under camera supervision and their lunch breaks under time card scrutiny. If employees are out too long, their names are shamed across the company.

Furthermore, if employees are seen as “useless” or unproductive, they are being reassigned to custodial work or reassignment to one of Konami’s spas or fitness centers. One employee who ‘Liked’ a former employee’s post on Facebook (regarding leaving the company) had their post monitored and were reshuffled around the company.

This story will be relevant to Nintendo fans as Konami used to make games for Nintendo platforms. Konami made their name in the Famicom/NES era, with classic titles like Castlevania, Light Force, and Contra. Konami has also been said to loan out the Momotaro Densetsu IP to Nintendo to make a new game. This could extend to other Hudson Soft IP in the future.

Metal Gear Solid V is expected to launch on September 1st for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. After its release, Hideo Kojima will leave Konami and Kojima Productions is expected to dissolve. After that, the future of traditional games at Konami is up in the air, but things are looking grim for game fans at this time.

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.