After A Bad Experience, Former Konami Employee Had To Fight Depression

After A Bad Experience, Former Konami Employee Had To Fight Depression

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.

リストラが招いた病 [Asahi]

Photo: FunkyTime


  • and if you take the time to look it up, you would know how horrible it is to be treated for depression in Japan. If what I heard was true, apparently they simply strap you to a bed in a vacant small room, then leave you there all day to “get over it”.

  • “a former-something year-old man”

    What was he after he was a something year old?


  • I remember this story from a while ago. The guy loved Konami games, and it was his life long dream to work for them.

    I can totally sympathise. I felt similarly when I realised I couldn’t make being a game developer support my family, at least not here in Aus. It’s super tough to have to give up a job you flat out love. Everything afterwards just sucks, grinding out a living elsewhere while dreaming of what you once had.

    Yes, it’s a mindset and you tend to forget all the bits that weren’t so good, but it’s hard to shake yourself out of it.

  • This sounds about right. In Japan, they very rarely “fire” you outright. They just advise you leave the company, otherwise they’ll make your life less and less pleasant until you leave.

  • Anyone here not experienced depression???
    serious question… I can’t imagine anyone not getting depressed.

    • There’s a big difference between feeling depressed and the consuming grasp of clinical depression.

    • There is a difference between situational depression and severe depression. The first is usually a result of an event that happens and generally tends to last for a short period. You feel mopey, you have a reduced interest in life and then you get over it and get back on your feet. The second is something you pretty much have to deal with the rest of your life and without proper treatment, impairs your ability to function as a human being.

  • These are the worst kind of employees. Give their most dedicated followers a carrot to chase until they die. It is stories like this that make me wish Goku was here right now…

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