Elen’s ring was one of the biggest video game success stories of 2022, but now its developer, FromSoftware, is making headlines due to rumors of a crisis situation and low wages at the development studio. its.
FromSoftware’s newest title won Widely important welcomeand its quality has been also reflected in the sales charts. Games have gone mainstream in a big way, there’s one of those games Biggest game launch on YouTube ever.
Unfortunately, like so many hugely successful AAA video games, it didn’t take long for conversations about the crisis, extended overtime, and low wages to surround the FromSoftware developer.
The keynote began in March, shortly after Elden Ring was released. First discovered by Gamerit turns out that a handful of FromSoftware employees are turning to a Japanese job site called Career connections to discuss poor working conditions and low wages.
For context, Career Connect is essentially a Japanese version of Glassdoor, where current or former employees can leave a review of their employer to inform applicants. potential future employees about working conditions at the company.
FromSoftware reviews remained on Career Connection from 2012 to 2019, with a FromSoftware employee satisfaction rating of 2.6 out of 5 stars. Employee reviews cite low wages for workload, 40 months of overtime per month, no maternity leave, etc.
Now, a few months after people started paying attention to reviews of poor conditions at FromSoftware, GamesIndustry.biz revealed more stories from FromSoftware employees about what it’s like to work at developer Elden Ring. According to the report, multiple sources said there was in fact “some degree of jailbreak” at FromSoftware.
The extent of the crisis at the set seemed to vary across departments. One of GamesIndustry.biz’s sources said they hardly have to work overtime.
Another said: “During the big game release period, I often have to work early in the morning and work overtime for two to three months.”
One source claimed that overtime pay is only half of their regular hourly rate, which is different from most Japanese companies where hourly wages usually increase at the end of the hour.
FromSoftware employees also talk about low salaries at the studio. One source said “their salaries are disproportionate” and added that their co-workers feel the same way. According to data on Career Connection, the average annual income of a FromSoftware employee is 3.41 million yen, or less than $25,000.
It’s worth noting that the Yen is very weak against the dollar right now, so a direct conversion from Yen to USD may not be entirely representative of employee compensation. However, FromSoftware operates in Tokyo, where the cost of living is higher than most other places in Japan.
Even with some negative accounts, other FromSoftware employees said working at the studio was a great experience. One employee even likened it to FromSoftware’s Dark Souls, saying, “There’s a lot of difficulty to get things right, but if you get through it, you’ll be very satisfied. It’s like you defeated a boss in Dark Souls.”
Elden Ring Publisher Bandai Namco announced a salary increase for all its employees after the success of Elden Ring, so we’ll have to see if FromSoftware follows suit by increasing the salaries of the developers behind the game.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN on video games and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the games industry with sub-lines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.