Last year, there were unconfirmed reports that Square Enix's Tokyo headquarters was a dark place to work. This latest report doesn't sound nearly as bad as those. Doesn't sound like rainbows and sunshine, either.
NicoNico News points to comments made on Japanese employment site Career Connection. The site aims to help jobseekers find out more about companies, such as salary or working conditions, and these comments were apparently made by Square Enix employees.
"For each project, each position is then turned into a clique, and without a big time creator's recommendation, it's impossible to get ahead," wrote one employee in his late 30s. "One's practical worth isn't really looked at, but rather, personal friendship is how merit is assessed."
"You're given so much work, and the atmosphere is that if you cannot keep up, they'll axe you," wrote a 24 year-old employee. "There's a tendency to ask workers to do more physical labor than mental labor."
Granted, these are a couple comments on a job seeker site, so keep that in mind. Maybe these folks are disgruntled. Maybe the work atmosphere at Square Enix's Tokyo headquarters is fantastic. Maybe.
Career Connection does quote someone connected with Square Enix as saying, "There's dissatisfaction with the salaries and the auditing system. Motivation is low because the ways to move ahead in the company are not clear. Because producers are unable to clearly express their visions for games, the titles must be reworked over and over. That's related to games missing their release dates."
"One's practical worth isn't really looked at, but rather, personal friendship is how merit is assessed."
Square Enix has been having a rough time of late—for a variety of reasons. And, these alleged worker gripes come as Square Co.'s former boss recently called the Square Enix merger a "complete failure" with "no vision".
If these latest complaints are true, Square Enix is not alone, among large, traditional Japanese companies for having rotten work conditions. That doesn't mean this is right. It means it should change.