A report by Japanese newspaper Nikkei (In Japanese and behind a paywall. Translation by Thomas James here) has revealed that Konami is reaching 1984 levels of bleakness in its development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn't had the best rep as of late, what with the cancellation of Silent Hills and the purging of Kojima, but this latest report has made the Japanese publisher the Donald Trump of the gaming industry - rich, but hilariously villainous and unpopular.
Let's get onto the deets: first of all, we know that MGS V has a budget of around $80 million, which puts it in the top 20 most expensive games according to Wikipedia. You'd think with a budget like that, the developers would have some freedom, but goddamn how wrong you are: there are "cameras in the office corridors... to monitor the movement of... employees", emails that are "routinely randomised and changed every few months" and lunch breaks that are "monitored with time cards", which sounds like David Cameron's wet dream. Not only that, but computers aren't Internet-connected, and are only able to send messages to others in the company.
And the tyranny doesn't stop there: any developers that aren't seen as "useful" (Which sounds like a selection process that aliens would use after enslaving Earth) are given jobs as security guards, cleaners at the company gym or factory workers. FACTORY WORKERS. A news report by Japanese newspaper Asahi News a couple of years ago also revealed that one worker experienced "severe depression" after being told to work in a factory.
And as if this cotton-headed ninnymuggins of a company couldn't get any more Stalin-esque, when said employee announced that he was leaving Konami on Facebook, his post was monitored and any other employees who interacted with it were "reshuffled".
I mean, come on! Are Konami actually trying to get rid of their only talent? Are they trying to make them quit so they don't have to pay them a severance package? Because, for a "company" as comically evil as Konami, that's a plausible theory. Do Konami employees have to put on cardboard boxes and crawl around the offices just to go to the bathroom? If this is really how Konami are treating their employees, then they don't deserve a single penny. This is a company that I wouldn't mind being bought by EA and subsquently dissolved 2 years later.