MGS V: The Phantom Pain Cost Over $80 Million, Nikkei Article Unveils Poisonous Internal Working Culture At Konami
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain development cost is over $80 million for Konami, according to details coming out from an article posted on the Japanese magazine Nikkei. The details were translated by Twitter user "Thomas James", Freelance Japanese-English game localizer.
Thomas James stated: "this Nikkei article on Konami. $80+ million spent on MGS5's dev as of April if it's to be believed."
The Nikkei article further states that Konami Founder, Kagemasa Kouzuki, is not longer interesting in making big budget console games as the return on investment has seen a massive drop. This decision of Kagemasa is also inspired by the success of mobile game Dragon Collection, which has a budget of less than $1 million and lots of money was made from it.
"One employee feels turning point was when Konami launched Dragon Collection for mobile. Lots of money made with sub-$1 mil budget." said Thomas.
This is not all, Thomas has also translated other bits of the Nikkei article, including the ones which provides information on the strict and poisonous company culture at Konami such as: "employees get controlled with cameras+punch clocks, Employees deemed useless have been known to do assemblyline work, security guard detail, cleanup at fitness clubs."
You can read the information below:
"Jesus, this Nikkei article on Konami. $80+ million spent on MGS5's dev as of April if it's to be believed.
Momotaro Densetsu apparently jettisoned by Konami over disagreements over revenue split with creator. Happaned without warning.
New Momotaro Densetsu game has instead been licensed out to Nintendo for release next year. Konami only interested in licensing fee.
As already known, Love Plus creator left. Development halted for Tokimeki Memori and Suikoden, as well.
This is not to say that new games were actively in development, mind. Just that what was already stalled is now extra stalled.
One employee feels turning point was when Konami launched Dragon Collection for mobile. Lots of money made with sub-$1 mil budget.
This was back around 2010. Kagemasa, Konami founder, not keen on increasing budget for console games with diminishing returns.
Jesus, Konami's internal culture sounds poisonous. For one, email with outsiders is done with a randomized email address changed regularly.
At least that seems to be the case with specific departments like sales. Uncertain what it's like for others.
It doesn't stop with emails. Lunchtime leave is regulated with time cards. Those who exceed allotted time are outed within company.
Employees deemed useless have been known to do assemblyline work, security guard detail, cleanup at fitness clubs.
These aren't nobodies being told to do this work either. Producers and other prominent creators have had this hoisted on them.
One famous incident of reassignments happened over a FB post of a guy saying he was heading to another company. Those who liked it were-
-quickly found to have their positions shifted around. Even upper management with loyal followings were hit by this.
Nikkei has repeatedly reached out to Kagemasa for statements, but have never heard back from him. He's staying silent.
Kagemasa is apparently a known recluse, both among media and even with his corporate peers. He and other old guards at companies like-
Nintendo, Sega, etc. used to help each other out of jams and whatnot, but has since become very, very distant from them.
That's about it for the stuff that would matter to non-business types. Talks a little about how Kagemasa wanted to diversify even at the-
turn of the century and is the reason behind some of Konami's acquisitions, but otherwise consider my work summarizing this article done."