You may hate your job, but at least you don't work for Konami. An article published by respected Japanese newspaper Nikkei has shed a little light on conditions at the Japanese company of late, and there's some mind blowing stuff in here. This follows the news that Kojima Productions has been disbanded and Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima kicked out.
We will stress, however, that the original article is in both Japanese and locked behind a pay wall, so we're working with second-hand information slightly here. However, there are some seriously crazy stories regarding the working culture at the organisation that we simply have to report on – we'll leave it up to you whether you choose to believe it or not.
So, first of all, the budget on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain purportedly stood at $80 million in April 2015, which would make it one of the most expensive games ever made. This has apparently peeved upper-management, who have witnessed plenty of cash come in from lower-cost smartphone games. In other words: the company no longer has the patience for Kojima's ballooning budget demands.
To be honest, this isn't all that surprising; more shocking is the way that it's apparently treating its employees. Lunch breaks are supposedly regulated with punch cards, which seems relatively reasonable. However, employees that take too long are apparently "outed" by the company, presumably in an effort to shame others into correctly keeping time. A simple word in the ear would have sufficed?
But it gets worse: those workers deemed "useless" are apparently punished by being made to clean up at the company's fitness clubs and asked to do all sorts of other menial tasks. "These aren't nobodies being told to do this work either," Thomas James, who has been translating the article on Twitter, explained. "Producers and other prominent creators have had this hoisted on them."
All in all, it sounds like a pretty shady place to work. Of course, as we pointed out earlier, we're reporting on second-hand information here, so there could be a spot of Chinese whispers at play. Either way, it sounds like Kojima and his team may be better off getting out of there, as they're almost certain to get funding from another publisher the moment that their contracts expire. Having said that, $80 million is a lot of money...