According to a report from Wednesday in the Nikkei Asian Review newspaper, Konami is apparently blacklisting former employees in the Japanese video game industry. The company mainly targets those who work for Kojima Productions, which was founded in 2016 by Hideo Kojima, who was formerly a top designer at Konami.
The video game giant behind the Metal Gear Solid series, among other things, has undergone some sort of shift in the past two years as it transitioned from a console-focused company to a mobile-focused company.
The Japanese newspaper reported that two months ago, an unnamed Kojima Productions executive applied for Kojima to join ITS Kenpo, a health insurance company focused on the gaming industry. That application was rejected, apparently because that company’s chairman of the board, Kimihiko Higashio, is also a board member at Konami.
In addition, according to the article, Konami is pressuring other companies not to hire its former employees. as the Nikkei Asian Review wrote:
An ex-Kon described his surprise when he learned that Konami had instructed an employee of a television company not to associate with his former employees. In another case, a former Konami president was forced to close his business under pressure from the gaming giant.
Ex-kings are not allowed to put their Konami experience on their public resume. “If you leave the company, you can’t rely on Konami’s name to get a job,” explains 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 sue him.
Konami’s Los Angeles offices did not immediately respond to Ars’s request for comment.