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Discussion FromSoft's Miyazaki Says He Agrees With Iwata, And As Long As he Is In Charge, From Will Have No Layoffs

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"Speaking to myself and this company, I want to say that this is not something I would wish on the staff at FromSoftware in a million years," Miyazaki said. "I'm pretty sure our parent company Kadokawa understands that and shares that view."

"I think it was the old ex-president of Nintendo, Iwata-san, who said that 'people who are afraid of losing their jobs are afraid of making good things.' I'm paraphrasing that, but I totally share this view," Miyazaki said.


I think that as we see companies like Nintendo, From, and Capcom do well, the wisdom that creatives work best when they are not existentially worried, will hopefully become more and more prevalent and accepted in the industry's modus operandi.
 
Don't Japanese laws also make mass layoffs difficult unless you are REALLY struggling?
The law prevents layoffs to just meet your revenue/profit goals (which is something that can be done in the US, and in fact was done in layoffs such as Micrtosoft's).

They do not prevent layoffs for justified reasons (such as an underperforming studio can be closed, i.e., Japan Studio or Tango Softworks, without it being illegal).

People (not you, or even on Fami, but on Twitter/Era/Reddit) often cite the "Japanese laws" thing to downplay Iwata's decision of late, but no, he could have still had layoffs if he wanted, he chose not to.
 
A lesser known thing, just from a salary standpoint FS is considered one of the poorly paid Japanese game companies.
 
that's great, for the content and the citation taken from another great manager/developer as Iwata-san
 
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not that that stops some companies but layoffs seem like they would be a pretty bad idea even just from a pure business standpoint for a studio like FromSoft that essentially iterates on the same thing over and over, keeping the same teams in place as much as possible seems super valuable for something like that
 
I don't think employees are obligated to stay there if they can do better?
This is actually a different story. Japanese companies are good at cultivating their own corporate culture and employee genes, and there are appropriate safeguards so the turnover rate is very low, but there is still overtime and low pay overall, but even so, turnover is not a normalized behavior.
 
This is actually a different story. Japanese companies are good at cultivating their own corporate culture and employee genes, and there are appropriate safeguards so the turnover rate is very low, but there is still overtime and low pay overall, but even so, turnover is not a normalized behavior.

So in other words, they try to incorporate a work culture where they actually care about their employees, and their work/life balance?
 
I’m curious to see if any lessons will be learned from this mass layoffs in the industry.
What changes in game development will we see in the next 5 to years.
 
So in other words, they try to incorporate a work culture where they actually care about their employees, and their work/life balance?
Yes, you can understand that Japanese companies have a kind of interaction of "the company is responsible for the employees, and the employees are also loyal to the company", and the structure of the Japanese domestic economy also guarantees that the employment rate and unemployment rate in Japan are at a very low level, even when the bubble economy collapsed in the 90's. Therefore, most of the Japanese game companies have survived the global layoffs.Most Japanese game companies have survived this wave of global layoffs.

This corporate employee culture probably originated after World War II.Japanese factories before World War II were total slavery and sweatshops.
 
I’m curious to see if any lessons will be learned from this mass layoffs in the industry.
What changes in game development will we see in the next 5 to years.
More time and resources spent on making the physics for each hair strand in your sad dad protagonist's beard realistic and authentic
 
Isn't From considered one of the worst studios to work for in Japan?
Nah, a report like that came out around Elden Ring's release, but it cited only a couple of very old reviews by ex-employees that were years old at that point (and ignored everything else).

So no conclusive evidence exists either way (though with the pace of their output I would not be surprised at all if it turned out they had horrific crunch practices, but right now there is no evidence.
 
The law prevents layoffs to just meet your revenue/profit goals (which is something that can be done in the US, and in fact was done in layoffs such as Micrtosoft's).

They do not prevent layoffs for justified reasons (such as an underperforming studio can be closed, i.e., Japan Studio or Tango Softworks, without it being illegal).

People (not you, or even on Fami, but on Twitter/Era/Reddit) often cite the "Japanese laws" thing to downplay Iwata's decision of late, but no, he could have still had layoffs if he wanted, he chose not to.
That doesn't also mention Nintendo god-like retention rate.
Which is above average in Japan.

 
Yes, you can understand that Japanese companies have a kind of interaction of "the company is responsible for the employees, and the employees are also loyal to the company", and the structure of the Japanese domestic economy also guarantees that the employment rate and unemployment rate in Japan are at a very low level, even when the bubble economy collapsed in the 90's. Therefore, most of the Japanese game companies have survived the global layoffs.Most Japanese game companies have survived this wave of global layoffs.

This corporate employee culture probably originated after World War II.Japanese factories before World War II were total slavery and sweatshops.

That is precisely how the company I work with operates. Shit still needs to get done, but work/life balance is made a point to not get burned out, plus our boss takes care of us. There are other firms out there that will undoubtedly pay more than what I get paid now. But what good does it do for me if I get paid say 25-35% more by switching jobs, but I hate the work, let alone the coworkers?
 
That is precisely how the company I work with operates. Shit still needs to get done, but work/life balance is made a point to not get burned out, plus our boss takes care of us. There are other firms out there that will undoubtedly pay more than what I get paid now. But what good does it do for me if I get paid say 25-35% more by switching jobs, but I hate the work, let alone the coworkers?
Japan was known as a low desire society after the 90's, so having a stable job with an adequate paycheck was actually an option for most people, but many people also believe that this corporate system and culture in Japan leads to inefficiencies (I highly doubt that this kind of talk is free-marketeer mumbo-jumbo).
 
Yeah I definitely agree with that. Employees should feel safe to take risks and if they know that management don’t mind a dud from time to time creative folks will produce the best experiences. Especially in games the best stuff comes from unexpected new ideas. It’s all in the surprise.
 
Please refrain from console warring rhetoric. For a history of provocative posts, you're being given a three day ban. - Lord Azrael, Tangerine_Cookie, meatbag, Phendrift, NabiscoFelt
Didn't agree with him enough to put your games on their platforms, though. Nice sentiment and all, but less talk, more receipts, please. Ta. 💕✨
 
Didn't agree with him enough to put your games on their platforms, though. Nice sentiment and all, but less talk, more receipts, please. Ta. 💕✨

the receipts are that he doesnt lay off his employees, he didnt say he thought nintendo consoles were the bestest everest
 
Didn't agree with him enough to put your games on their platforms, though. Nice sentiment and all, but less talk, more receipts, please. Ta. 💕✨
you really thought you was cookin with that Ta.
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huh
 
Miyazaki seems like good people. I have no reason not to take him at his word.

Didn't agree with him enough to put your games on their platforms, though. Nice sentiment and all, but less talk, more receipts, please. Ta. 💕✨

We did get Dark Souls: Remastered. I'm sure technical limitations kept Elden Ring from Switch. It will almost assuredly be on the Switch successor.
 
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It's pretty nice to see him speak so candidly. Miyazaki certainly has his own fair share of bad experience working for bad bosses; the company prior to his takeover as CEO had godawful Glassdoor reviews (which fizzled out after he took over) and Dark Souls 2 was infamously made without his involvement.

They have some problems with substandard pay from what I've heard but that's hard to get a real estimate on. Still, promising no layoffs even if something flops is a good sign.

That is precisely how the company I work with operates. Shit still needs to get done, but work/life balance is made a point to not get burned out, plus our boss takes care of us. There are other firms out there that will undoubtedly pay more than what I get paid now. But what good does it do for me if I get paid say 25-35% more by switching jobs, but I hate the work, let alone the coworkers?
While Japan is an outlier in this regard, it probably ought to be noted that the US's often uh... extremely mercenary approach to jobs is pretty unusual across the world from what I can tell. Like the "zero loyalty, quit the moment you get better pay somewhere else" approach from employees is a pretty uniquely American one and "right to work" laws (read: get fired with no rhyme, reason or protections beyond contractual severance pay) are almost exclusively American.

That mercenary approach also kinda creates a negative feedback loop, where due to dogshit labour protections, no boss in the US seems to have any sense of responsibility for their employees in turn (and then employees feel no responsibility for the company's wellbeing and you kinda see how this compounds into a system where nobody feels responsibility for how the other is doing - just having labour laws creates a sense of responsibility. Even the ones in the scandinavian countries are often weaker than people expect, but because there are some decent ones, the rest kinda can flow from there since suddenly the law demands you give some fucks about your employees, so might as well go the full mile and all that). Since from their perspective an employee can leave at any point, making all that work to keep them happy useless.

It's been kinda fanning out across Europe, but it's just not really taking hold.
 
the receipts are that he doesnt lay off his employees, he didnt say he thought nintendo consoles were the bestest everest
Miyazaki should realize that its weak low cost hardware that makes it possible for Nintendo to never do layoffs. Having power focus means higher budget games and thus more layoffs. So he shoud realize that weak hardware is good for the industry.
 
Didn't agree with him enough to put your games on their platforms, though. Nice sentiment and all, but less talk, more receipts, please. Ta. 💕✨
Y'know, it's truly among the worst genres of Famiboardian behavior for someone to see a thread surrounding the anxiety game industry folks feel about losing their jobs, and the reassurance being publicly voiced by one of the industry's leading creatives, only to swiftly reply with the equivalent of "Yeah ok whatever, where's the Switch port?"
 
Miyazaki should realize that its weak low cost hardware that makes it possible for Nintendo to never do layoffs. Having power focus means higher budget games and thus more layoffs. So he shoud realize that weak hardware is good for the industry.
O-okay, but why does that mean he’s obligated to support it if he can make his games unconstrained on stronger hardware and also not have layoffs?

Like, he can respect them as a business without needing to hold his vision back to prove his respect, wtf lol
 
Not exactly the biggest fans of their games but it’s great to see that they actually value their employees and don’t just see them as an expense on their balance sheet. Wish that mentality was more common here in the States
 
Love this energy from Miyazaki-san. I'm still awaiting the day when he proudly announces he's going to make more Armored Core games.
 
Miyazaki should realize that its weak low cost hardware that makes it possible for Nintendo to never do layoffs. Having power focus means higher budget games and thus more layoffs. So he shoud realize that weak hardware is good for the industry.

i think he does but also the games fromsoft makes are not exactly super duper high fidelity. they're gorgeous, sure but, not packing the kinda of bullshit you see from something like a last of us or horizon etc

they're already not chasing that, but they are working with something just high enough that the switch can't keep up. i imagine a switch 2 will see fromsoft support.
 
"software that can impress people around the world" I think was the second half of that Iwata quote but yeah, he got the sentiment correct. Iwata also took a pay cut for himself and other execs so that none of the developers had to when times were rough in the Wii U years.

I used to like reading the "and then Iwata-san stayed up all night to solve an engineering problem we had been struggling with" stories from old guard Nintendo employees too.

He was built different. Sad they don't make 'em like that anymore.

But I imagine he had a huge lasting effect on the work culture at the company since they now have an absurdly high employee retention rate.
 
I used to like reading the "and then Iwata-san stayed up all night to solve an engineering problem we had been struggling with" stories from old guard Nintendo employees too.

He was built different. Sad they don't make 'em like that anymore.
The funny thing is that Iwata had no formal experience for any sort of C-suite position; he was essentially ordered to be one as part of a Nintendo deal to save HAL from bankruptcy, so he read a few books on how to be a manager because that was his job now and he'd better make sure he knew how to do it.

Besides that, his biggest technical achievements are both Pokemon related; he rewrote the compression speed of Gold/Silver, which freed up the team to add the Kanto region (even if it was in a basic form) to the gen 2 games. He also ported Pokemon Red and Greens entire battle system over to Stadium in less than a week. Both of those are really impressive.
 


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