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Nikkei Reports on Konami's Restructuring, Dissolution of Kojima Productions

posted on by Karen Ressler
Employees complain of poor treatment, strict regulation

The Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei published a report on Monday addressing rumors of game company Konami's restructuring, including changes to Kojima Productions.

Konami began shifting to mobile games after the success of the mobile game Dragon Collection in 2010. In contrast to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which Nikkei reports had a budget exceeding 10 billion yen (about US$80 million), mobile games are cheaper to make.

As of March, the former Kojima Productions has been dissolved and is now known as the "8th production department."

Staff members have complained of strict information regulation. All employees, including Kojima himself, were restricted from internet usage. Only staff members who need to contact the outside are allowed to have permanent company e-mail addresses. Everyone else is assigned a five-digit number that changes every few months.

In addition, employees' lunch breaks are monitored with time cards, and employees who return late have their names announced throughout the company.

Former game creators who are no longer seen as useful have been reassigned to other jobs such as security guard, janitor, and mechanical work on pachi-slot machines. Several employees were shuffled around after pressing "like" on a former employee's Facebook post about leaving the company.

Nikkei also reports other complaints with Konami. Akira Sakuma, creator of the Momotaro Densetsu series Konami licensed when it absorbed Hudson Games in 2012, posted a complaint on Twitter that he's having difficulty contacting Konami and negotiating earnings distribution from the latest title in the series.

Production on new games in series such as LovePlus, Tokimeki Memorial, and Suikoden has reportedly halted. LovePlus and Tokimeki Memorial producer Akari Uchida resigned in March.

Konami had addressed rumors of the dissolution of Kojima Productions in March, after a removal of the Kojima Productions logo from its website, stating that the Kojima Productions and other internal companies have had their names changed as part of Konami's restructuring.

The company has also not yet confirmed or denied rumors that Hideo Kojima is leaving Konami after completing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Source: Gematsu

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