Is Konami Blacklisting Its Former Employees?

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Steve Anderson
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Is Konami Blacklisting Its Former Employees?

If this is true, and the current reports suggest it's going on, it would be just one more brick in the disastrous wall that is Konami these days, ever since it basically forbade Hideo Kojima from showing up to accept an award for the game he led the way in making. The current word suggests that Konami is actually blacklisting its former employees, particularly those who went to work for Kojima Productions last year.

The reports note that a Kojima Productions employee--an executive within the firm--went to join a health insurance company that focuses on employees of the gaming industry, ITS Kenpo. ITS Kenpo passed on said executive, and it was worth noting here that the chairman of ITS Kenpo's board occupies a board seat at Konami: Kimihiko Higashio.

What's more, word from the Nikkei Asian Review notes that Konami had actually directly instructed an employee at a television company to avoid hiring former Konami employees. Another former Konami executive who had started his own business was actually forced to shut it down after Konami turned its focus on it. It's actually reached the point, reports note, that former Konami employees--called "ex-Kons" colloquially--aren't even allowed to list Konami on their resumes.

In what may be the most ludicrous and frightening affair of all, an ex-Kon that gets interviewed by the press will actually be subject to a light legal proceeding, as Konami will--through a legal representative--send said ex-Kon a letter that notes Konami's willingness to pursue further legal action.

Naturally, requests to Konami--Ars Technica put out a couple itself--for more information seem to be going unanswered, but if what we've heard so far is true and there's no reason to believe that it isn't, this is a new low that makes the word "odious" almost too good to describe Konami.

It's worth noting here that we're talking about a Japanese company operating in Japan, which implies a completely different culture and legal codework. But it seems ludicrous to a degree that even Dilbert wouldn't touch to make it legally actionable to list a company you worked at on your resume.

Further, it seems almost aggressively petty to blacklist company employees from finding work in completely or mostly unrelated industries, as was the case with the guy at the health insurance firm.

If all this is happening, and there's little to suggest it isn't, then we're looking one more brick in the wall of active evil that is Konami. This seems to be an ongoing disaster that only manages to get worse as time goes on. Hopefully there will be a better resolution going forward, but from what's been seen so far, it's hard to imagine how that actually happens.

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