Slaves of the Japanese Gaming Industry

Posted on March 3, 2010


I’m not much of a gamer but I’m sure I played my share and played it well. Programming video games is cool but I suck at programming so I know it’s not for me. But to work for Nintendo? how about Sony? No? how about a full time job at Square Enix? For a hardcore gamer it would be heaven. Alright then the job is awesome but how about the pay? Good question.

Recently a thread at 2ch, a Japanese BBS, asked Japanese game programmers how much money they get, of course most of the things in the internet is anonymous so it’s hard to tell if the following claims are true.

Here are some of the replies (translated by CNNGo):

• “¥130,000 (US$1,461) For 256 hours of work a month.” (For reference, a ‘normal’ 40-hour work week equals 160 hours per month.)
• “Let me tell you, the minimum salaries that game companies claim to pay employees are total BS. Ads promising ¥250,000+ ($2,810) a month? In reality they pay ¥130,000 ($1,460) a month. ¥200,000+ ($2,250) a month? In reality they pay ¥110,000 ($1,240) a month. Oh, and then you get taxes withheld. So take-home’s like ¥70,000-80,000 ($790~$900) a month. Ah ha ha ha!”
• “¥160,000 and I am ready to die. I can’t even afford the ‘recruit suit’ I’ll need for interviewing for another job.”
• “Salary varies from individual to individual so it’s hard to say, but speaking about the industry as a whole you can definitely say ‘low enough to make people regret dedicating themselves to games.’ A precious few blessed with talent can earn a living wage. And an even more precious few who get lucky can make more than a living wage.” 

That’s sad. I expected it to be much higher. Honestly, on my line of work those amount are already a good pay. But if I live in Tokyo or Osaka, two of the world’s most expensive cities, with that salary life would be hard, although two years ago I would prefer to be a bum in Tokyo than to have a job anywhere else. That was two years ago. LOL. I think it’s always good to blame the video game companies for crappy games and not the people who designed and programmed it.

via Kotaku
source: CNNGo

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