Elden Ring One of the biggest video game success stories of 2022, but now its developer, FromSoftware, is making headlines due to a crisis at its development studio and rumors of low pay.
Got the latest title from FromSoftware Widespread critical acclaimAnd its quality has been As well as reflect the sales chart. The game broke into the mainstream in a big way, including one The biggest game launch ever on YouTube.
Unfortunately, like many successful AAA video game titles, it didn’t take long for the crisis, long overtime hours, and low-paid developer conversations surrounding From Software.
The speech began in March, shortly after the release of Elden Ring. First seen by GamerIt turns out that a handful of FromSoftware employees were turning to a Japanese job board Carrier connection To discuss poor working conditions and low pay.
For context, Career Connect is basically a Japanese version of Glassdoor, where current or former employees can post their employer reviews to inform potential future applicants about job conditions at a company.
FromSoftware’s reviews left on Career Connection range from 2012 to 2019, FromSoftware has an employee satisfaction rating of 2.6 out of 5 stars. Employee reviews cited low compensation for workload, 40 months of overtime per month, no maternity leave and more.
Now, months after people started noticing bad status reviews on FromSoftware, GamesIndustry.biz FromSoftware has published more stories from employees about what it’s like to work as an Elden Ring developer According to the report, multiple sources said that From Software actually has “some level of crunching.”
The extent of the crisis at the studio seems to vary from department to department. A source at GamesIndustry.biz said that they hardly had to work any overtime.
Another said, “During the critical period of game release, I often had to work early mornings and overtime for two to three months.”
One source claimed that overtime wages are only half of their normal hourly rate, which is different from most Japanese companies where hourly wages usually increase in the last hour.
From Software employees also spoke of low pay at the studio. A source said their “pay is not enough” and added that their colleagues felt the same. According to Career Connections data, the average annual income of a FromSoftware employee is 3.41 million yen, which comes to just under $25,000 USD.
It is worth noting that the yen is now very weak against the dollar, so that a direct conversion from yen to USD may not be fully representative of employee compensation. However, FromSoftware operates in Tokyo, where the cost of living is higher than elsewhere in Japan.
Even with some negative accounts, other FromSoftware employees say that working at the studio is a great experience. One employee even preferred it to From Software’s own Dark Souls, saying, “It’s a lot of struggle to get things right, but if you get over the hump, it’s very satisfying. It’s just like you beat a boss in Dark Souls.”
An announcement by Elden Ring publisher Bandai Namco Salary hike for all its employees After the success of Elden Ring, so we’ll have to see if FromSoftware follows suit by increasing the salaries for the developers behind the game.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has more than six years of experience in the gaming industry, including bylines in IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.