It’s no secret in the past several months leading up to the September release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, that Konami, publisher/developer of many classic series, has been a subject of criticism, ridicule, and vitriol from many fans and gamers alike.
In the past few months we saw them cancel ‘Silent Hills’ and take down P.T. from the PSN marketplace, talk about focusing solely on free to play mobile games , and even remove Hideo Kojima’s name and the Kojima Productions logo from press releases regarding MGSV:TP.
But now we can add Konami treating their workers like prisoners to that list as well.
According to an article on Nikkei’s website (a japanese news source) reporting on what’s going on over there at their Japanese HQ, apparently multiple policies put in place by Konami has made the work place very toxic for the people working there.
Reports regarding many things such as monitoring their employee’s both on site and off site at all times very closely, employees being required to punch in and out using punch cards for lunch-breaks, workers being ridiculed and insulted for running late in public, and even terrible punishments such as re-assigning developers who aren’t as “useful…” to other positions such as company security or an assembly line at Konami’s Pachislot factory.
Even the in house developers, PR people, and Sales reps barely get internet access to contact other employees or outsiders. For example it was reported that PR and Sales reps are issued temporary e-mails comprised of random numbers and letters to ensure they can’t be reached on a consistent basis, and those at Production Studio Number 8 (formerly Kojima Productions) don’t have any e-mail access at all.
Overall things have been very bad, or to quote some people on the net, “Orwellian” over at Konami, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
Only time will tell whether Konami will get better or worse in the future as a company…I wouldn’t be surprised if the latter turned out to be true.