In an interview with the Asahi News, one of Japan’s largest newspapers, a former-something year-old man recalled his time at Konami and an alleged unfortunate experience which led to bouts of severe depression.
Asahi reports that the man worked at Konami in game development. However, in late 2010, apparently the man’s boss abruptly told him to go to the company’s “Career Development centre.” After that, he was shocked by what the human resources director supposedly told him: Search for a new job. But there was a catch.
“If you’re searching for a job within the company,” the HR director allegedly said, “Then, I’ll have you go help out at the pachi-slot machine factory until you find something. If you search for a job outside the company, then you’ll get a three-month contract employee agreement. It will not be renewed.”
It’s unclear why the man was initially reassigned — whether it was due to poor performance or whatnot.
According to Asahi, the man wanted to stay at Konami so much that he ultimately took the job at Konami’s pachinko slot machine factory. His job was dismantling old pachinko slot machines, spending his time working with a screwdriver instead of making video games. The man, it seems, couldn’t find another job within the company and ultimately ceased working at Konami.
Depressed, the man apparently didn’t leave his home for a year and eight months. His health declined, and it wasn’t until late last year when he recovered. This past January, the man began to look for work again, but mentioned how job interviews can be awkward when they ask about the nearly two-year blank spot in his work history and concerns about a relapse. The Asahi article featured a photo of the man and what looks like his medication for depression.
Kotaku is following up with Konami and will update this post should the company comment.