Konami Conundrum and Where Has Everybody Gone?

Do you support Konami despite what they’ve been up to behind the scenes or do you boycott it in protest at their business conduct

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture released last week and what an experience it proved to be. I absolutely loved it and will have a full review of the game going up shortly. I stopped myself after about an hour and made this video of my first impressions of the game. I used the first 5 minutes of the game for the video, so it contains minor spoilers just of the set-up to the game; it really isn’t any big surprise if you watch the trailers.

It is a beautiful game to look at but more importantly the sound design in this game is inspiring. I recommend you plug your headphones in to play, I did and it adds to the experience hugely. The Chinese Room, with help from Sony Santa Monica, have put a lot of love and care into EHGTTR, you can see it in every little detail as you explore Yaughton and its surrounding fields and forests. They do a fantastic job of creating a believable environment; if you took any little rural village, hit the pause button and took all the people away, I imagine it’d look a lot like it does here.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is more than just a game; it’s quite the emotional experience as well. It really is powerful and at times I found it difficult to keep control of myself as I pieced together what was left of the lives people once had here. I genuinely cried playing through this which is a testament to just how good a job the development team have done.

Don’t forget to check back later for a full review.

An article published in the Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei and translated by a freelance localiser, Thomas James, suggest all is not well at Konami. It suggests that the tension around Hideo Kojima’s role at Konami was because Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was delayed, despite costing an estimated $80million. But rather more worrying information came to light than just the situation with Kojima.

Reports that cameras were placed in corridors to monitor employee movements, naming and shaming those who took a long lunch across the entire company, employees “deemed useless” being moved from jobs like game development to pachi-slot machine factories and many more stories better suited to an Orwellian style horror film than the 21st century. This is shocking stuff if it proves to be true.

But then at Gamescom they showed off MGSV and it looks utterly amazing; you can catch the trailer here

That really is the crux of the conundrum we face in light of all this information. Metal Gear Solid V looks like an epic and fantastic creation, a testament to the talent of the individuals working on it. But to hear that some of them have been treated so badly by the company as a whole makes it difficult. Do you purchase the game because the developers have done such a fantastic job on the game and support Konami despite what they’ve been up to behind the scenes or do you boycott it in protest at their business conduct and as a result not support the developer?

Personally I am torn, the game looks absolutely fantastic and having played Ground Zeroes earlier this year I was seriously looking forward to it. But I don’t want to support a company whose business practices are unacceptable, especially now that that information is out in the public domain. Konami would do well to disprove these accusations or take steps to rectify this situation. Until then I don’t feel like I can purchase their product. But everyone should make their own mind up.

Thanks for reading! As always you can let me know your thoughts on all things games, gaming and gamers here in the comments, on Facebook (Search Out of Lives) or on Twitter@adamthomas1994. I look forward to hearing your stories from Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture!


Adam is a Writer, Editor & Podcaster here at Out of Lives. He casts a wide net across popular culture with video games & anime, in particular, featuring heavily in his work for the site. Hailing from a town just outside Glasgow, this Scotsman can usually be found roaming the Northern Realms on The Path or behind the wheel of a Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle-Car.
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