The Elden Ring is one of the biggest video game success stories of 2022, but its developer, FromSoftware, is making headlines due to rumors of a crisis and low wages at its development studio.
The latest title has been obtained from FromSoftware widespread critical acclaimAnd it was quality It is reflected in the sales charts as well. The game broke into the mainstream in a big way, owning one of the The biggest game ever launched on YouTube.
Unfortunately, like many hugely successful AAA video game titles, it didn’t take long for crunch talks, long overtime hours, and low salaries to brief developer FromSoftware.
The speech began in March, shortly after the release of Elden Ring. first spotted playerIt turns out that a handful of FromSoftware employees were heading to a Japanese job board called functional contact To discuss poor working conditions and low wages.
For context, Career Connection is essentially a Japanese version of Glassdoor, where current or former employees can leave employer reviews to inform potential future applicants about working conditions at the company.
FromSoftware’s remaining ratings on Career Connection range from 2012 to 2019, with FromSoftware’s employee satisfaction rating at 2.6 out of 5 stars. Employee reviews cite low workload compensation, 40 months of overtime per month, no maternity leave, and more.
Now, months after people started noticing FromSoftware’s poor condition reviews, GamesIndustry.biz Reveal more stories from FromSoftware employees about what it’s like working for developer Elden Ring. According to the report, multiple sources have said that there is, in fact, “a certain level of grinding” at FromSoftware.
The extent of the crisis in the studio seems to vary from department to department. A GamesIndustry.biz source said they hardly had to work any overtime.
Another said, “During critical periods for game releases, I often had to work early mornings and work overtime for two to three months.”
One source claimed that the overtime pay is only half the normal hourly wage, which differs from most Japanese companies where hourly wages usually increase in the late hours.
FromSoftware employees also spoke about the studio’s low wages. “Their salary is not enough,” said one source, who added that their co-workers felt the same. According to data on Career Connection, the average annual salary for a FromSoftware employee is 3.41 million yen, which is just under $25,000.
It is worth noting that the yen is very weak against the dollar at the moment, so direct conversion from yen to US dollars may not fully account for 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 that working at the studio was a great experience. One staff member even likened it to FromSoftware’s Dark Souls, saying, “There’s a lot of fighting to get things right, but if you get over the hump it’s very satisfying. It’s like you beat a boss in Dark Souls.”
Elden Ring publisher Bandai Namco announced pay increases for all of its employees following the success of Elden Ring, so we’ll have to see if FromSoftware follows suit by increasing salaries for the developers behind the game.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with minor lines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.
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