Reports from the Nikkei Asian Review suggest that Konami’s authoritarian approach to staff relations is affecting former employees.
It is well reported that Konami employees are closely monitored with no email allowed, no contact with anyone outside of Konami whilst employed (in the games industry), social networking closely observed and strict adherence to operating hours.
But news is surfacing that ex-employees or ex-Kons are being blacklisted and prevented from gaining work after working for Konami. According to the report, ex-Kons are unable to use Konami as previous experience on their CVs and ex-Kons speaking to the media after leaving the company have been threatened with legal action.
One such ex-Kon is reportedly Hideo Kojima. Following an interview with PlayStation in 2016 on the future of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, the head of Kojima Productions said, "That has nothing to do with me." This one line has reportedly made Konami suspend payments to Kojima and consider it to be a breach of contract.
The troubles don’t stop there with Kojima Productions blocked from joining the ITS Kenpo health insurance society for the games industry. The chairman of that society is Kimihiko Higashio, a director at Konami. Whilst all parties declined to comment on the accusations, it is thought that sour relations between the parties are the cause of the issues.
Former employees have also been blacklisted from continued work in the games industry by the Japanese publisher with one person reportedly working in the construction industry for half a year in order to stop Konami from filing a complaint with any potential employer in the games industry.
Konami has reportedly moved their attention to mobile gaming and their arcade gambling business rather than producing games for consoles. However, Pro Evolution Soccer franchise is still in development on a regular basis, using the Kojima built Fox Engine, and new games in the Metal Gear franchise are expected with the co-op Metal Gear Survive due for release in 2018.