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Japan Businesses Games Entertainment

Konami Reportedly Blacklisting Ex-Employees Across Japanese Video Game Industry (arstechnica.com) 120

The Nikkei Asian Review newspaper is reporting that the Japanese entertainment company Konami is blacklisting former employees in the Japanese video game industry. "The company is particularly targeting those who work for Kojima Productions, which was founded in 2016 by Hideo Kojima, who used to be a top designer at Konami," reports Ars Technica. From the report: Furthermore, according to the article, Konami is pressuring other companies not to hire its former employees. As the Nikkei Asian Review wrote: "One ex-Kon described his surprise at learning that Konami had instructed an employee at a television company not to deal with its former employees. In another case, a former Konami executive was forced to close his business due to pressure from the gaming giant. Ex-Kons are not allowed to put their Konami experience on their public resumes. 'If you leave the company, you cannot rely on Konami's name to land a job,' explained a former employee. If an ex-Kon is interviewed by the media, the company will send that person a letter through a legal representative, in some cases indicating that Konami is willing to take them to court."
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Konami Reportedly Blacklisting Ex-Employees Across Japanese Video Game Industry

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  • sounds like Konami needs a taste of yie ar kung fu [wikipedia.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward

    time for another Fuck Konami news!

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      Came here to say this. Looking forward to the next "Fuck Konami News" segment on the Jimquisition.

    • Between Fuck Konami, "Oh Ubishit", and 17th century aristocrat [youtu.be] ... "Thank God Jim Sterling" :-)

      What do you think of the new opening song?

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @07:38PM (#54622433)

    Just use the Konami code to get infinite money. ;)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ie. lawsuit.

      I'm obviously not going to bother if this affects US based employees - but easiest lawsuit ever if it does. Completely and obviously illegal.

      • yeah, this would fall foul of so many laws in the us its not even funny.

        google and apple got hit a few years back for trying to prevent their former workers from being hired at tech places if they left. They had a quite substantial fine for that one.

        • No, they didn't. It was a laughably small fine, far smaller than the amount of money they saved by engaging in the illegal behavior.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So, Konami is worthless to work for?
    My, how the mighty have fallen. I can't wait for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night!

    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      unless you like shitty japan only bejewled clone arcade machines, which is about all they "make" anymore

      Hideo Kojima, I feel, is a strong reason Konami is dead though, they went from a strongly diversified company, with little to no bad games, to metal gear old gay cowboy space marine never ending soap opera crap in the blink of an eye. That's not his fault though, they should have never let it get to that

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Which they do because it's steady money cheaply made. I mean, say what you like about selling out artistic vision, but in the end (as sad as it is) that's a compelling bottom line.

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        metal gear old gay cowboy space marine never ending soap opera crap

        Which game was that? Sounds interesting at least.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @07:41PM (#54622445)

    If Konami put half as much effort into developing their games as they apparently do into harassing their former employees, maybe they wouldn't get so much hate from gamers.

  • if the games are good. Blizzard and Bethesda have done plenty to be scorned for. But Konami hasn't released a good game since MGSV. I suspect they'll get eaten alive.
    • Eh, I'm kindof done with Blizzard.

      Diablo III was tailored/dumbed down too much for the console crowd. And for a game that is all about loot collection, stash expansion is a painful process (unless you happen to live in China, where it is available as a micro transaction).

      Overwatch has the FOV capped too low, resulting in motion sickness for many players. They won't change it because of their focus on aesthetic and professional play.

      Starcraft II didn't compel me to complete the campaign, and I wa
  • by muphin ( 842524 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @07:54PM (#54622523) Homepage
    i dont live in Japan, but would like to know the legalities of this, a company preventing an ex-employee employment?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @08:06PM (#54622579)

      It's not only lawful, it's not that uncommon a business practice. Konami is just being more open about it than most.

      Japanese companies really feel that their employees are belongings more than people, although they'll try to phrase as 'in the family' or such. By leaving, you've betrayed Konami, stealing the experience you gathered working for them. You're trading on Konami's reputation and past works to benefit yourself - and Konami, like many Japanese companies, will not hesitate to get revenge.

      Back in the 90s, it wouldn't be uncommon for a company to call up the new employer of an ex-employee and say something like "We have nothing to do with this individual's child pornography habits" or "We can confirm that the employee was never actually convicted of embezzlement". And, unsurprisingly, the ex-employee would often lost their new job. Even the rumor of a scandal could cost jobs, and with the personal ties between companies (from mom-and-pop shops to the great zaibatsu) being blacklisted in one place often meant losing access to dozens or hundreds of companies, or even entire industries.

      • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @08:40PM (#54622719)

        Mod Parent up.

        The thing is that many employees who quit usually don't make a formal announcement that they are leaving, but instead will simply stop showing up to work... leaving no message to the old company and leaving no paper trail. Possibly changing phone numbers and rental apartment addresses before starting a new job so the old company can't track them.

        That's how you avoid uncomfortable meetings with managers when you tell them you are leaving.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Seems like something reasonable to do, when there's a very clear danger of having your ex-company chase you and try to ruin your life, if you decide to leave for some reason or another.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @09:16PM (#54622875)

        It's not only lawful, it's not that uncommon a business practice. Konami is just being more open about it than most.

        Being common business practice doesn't make it lawful. Japan has labor laws comparable to other advanced economies - weaker than Europe certainly, but stronger than the US's "at will" employment. The problem is a cultural aversion to rocking the boat and demanding the legal rights that they should have.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Remember, human resources are resources first and humans second.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It is allowed. Under the samurai code, ex-employees are expected to commit seppuku. If they choose not to, future employers would be dishonored by employing them.

    • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @08:32PM (#54622683)

      Probably isn't legal, but that has never stopped Japanese companies pushing the boundaries of labour laws, and bullying their employees.

      If you leave a traditionally minded Japanese company, they will bully you into staying. They will haul you into a meeting and scold you.
      Then they will say things like "Why are you leaving the company! You can't! You still have work to do!"
      And then say things like "After you leave and go to this other place, are you OK that we send you your unfinished work?"

      Ridiculous of course to the western ear... but to the Japanese ear who has no spine and has been bullied all the way through school - some actually can't handle the pressure and the bullying and apologize and stay with the company! ... even when they've been offered better work!
      If they stay, they get treated like backstabbing traitorous unfaithful dirt and paid less from what I heard.

      • "Probably isn't legal, but that has never stopped Japanese companies pushing the boundaries of labour laws, and bullying their employees."

        I can understand they don't want you to leave, what I fail to understand is what's the strenght they have to bully someone?

        Can they really succesfully demand you not to put you were there in your resume?
        Can they really go to their competition asking for not hiring you with any chance of success?

        "a former Konami executive was forced to close his business due to pressure fr

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        but to the Japanese ear who has no spine and has been bullied all the way through school

        This is just complete bollocks. You might as well say the same thing about the spineless American who was bullied all the way through school. Most people, most companies are nothing like that.

        • by Megol ( 3135005 )

          So you have experience from living in Japan and working in multiple companies there? You have never heard people (in Japan) talking about things like this?

  • by mfh ( 56 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @07:57PM (#54622535) Homepage Journal

    The answer to this puzzle is simply not to ever work for them. Surely then they will just go bankrupt and disappear, since the best people wouldn't dare join them in fear of similar activity if it doesn't go well.

    Do you ever want to work somewhere you can't be fired from?

    • Many Japanese can and do work at places where they can't be fired.
      How's that for job security?

    • The answer to this puzzle is simply not to ever work for them.

      That is a great way of dealing with an isolated actor, but not so good when dealing with the cultural heritage of an entire country.

      Don't think this is isolated to Konami.... or even the gaming industry.

      • by mfh ( 56 )

        Don't think this is isolated to Konami.... or even the gaming industry.

        Then the answer is simple. Don't work for big companies. Take your ideas and build your own team to execute them.

        • Then the answer is simple. Don't work for big companies. Take your ideas and build your own team to execute them.

          Sure. While you're at it tell the French to work longer hours, the Spanish not to eat dinner at 9pm, and the Italians to stop napping at lunchtime. Japanese culture is not very welcoming of the ideas you put forward, and they definitely aren't open to these as a suggestion.

          What you say would work well in most other countries of the world, not a country where people will happily commute for 4+ hours a day to work in a big city in a big company, or a country where an employee can die at his desk and no one no

  • I'm sure this announcement will help Kojima and hurt Konami. Good riddance.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      While I'm 100% hoping this will backfire on them, the Streisand Effect is not applicable.
      This is just: company did something bad and just got called out for it.

      If the story was, Konami tries to censor reports about it's blacklisting that would be Streisand.
  • If I'm thinking of taking a job for Konami this story will make me think "7/11 cashier. Midnight to 8. Hey, no lines at the grocery store!"
  • by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Thursday June 15, 2017 @12:28AM (#54623597)

    Apply for asylum in the US and start indie game shops here... I have many fond memories of classic Konami games: Contra, Castlevania, Belmonts Quest, Life Force (Salamander), Contra: Alien Wars, Gradius III, TMNT 4: Turtles in Time, etc. Make some updated, new games on the same concept with Unreal engine 2D graphics and put it up on steam and sell a few million copies at $9.99 a pop.

  • So much for Japanese "honor", huh? Every Konami executive should have a katana rammed up their asses.

  • FINISH HIM

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!

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