Troubling Konami Culture Exposed in New Article

Konami employees reportedly monitored with surveillance cameras.


Publisher Konami has come under fire again after Japanese newspaper Nikkei (Japanese, login required) has published a report which revealed that the publisher has stopped development on Suikoden and Tokimeki memorial, as well detailing how employees are treated. According to Nikkei, the studio formerly known as Kojima Productions were re-branded as the "8th Production Unit" in March this year, the same month reports of a fallout between the studio and Konami first surfaced.

Nikkei's report reveals that Kojima Productions staff are restricted from accessing the Internet at work, as was first reported in GameSpot's story in March.

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Konami employees allegedly do not have their own email address; departments where communication with external parties is mandatory, such as sales, are allocated an email address consisting of random numbers and letters. This email address is supposedly changed every few months.

Lunch breaks are managed with time cards, and employees who do not adhere to prescribed break times are named and shamed. According to the report, the working status of employees is monitored through the use of cameras. Employees who did not perform to expectations could be transferred to other tasks such as assembly work, security guard duty, or cleaning the gym.

Development of the Tokimeki Memorial and Suikoden series was also reportedly halted by Konami. Popular Japanese board-game inspired series Momotaru Dentetsu will also be licensed out to Nintendo.

Also of note, the report claims that Konami has spent $80 million, as of April 2015, on the development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

This year has been an eventful one for Konami. After reports surfaced that developer Hideo Kojima would be exiting the company after the launch of The Phantom Pain, the publisher announced it was looking for new hires to work on the next Metal Gear Solid game. Konami announced the removal of its shares from the New York Stock Exchange in April.

For a timeline of major events that have transpired for the company recently, check out our recap.

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