The latest employee event here at PlatinumGames is birthday lunch month with the president! As the name implies, all employees who have their birthday that month are treated to lunch by president Minami.
The company started 9 years ago with 40 or so members, but now, with over 170 employees, it has turned into quite a sizeable establishment (from our perspective, anyway). The president suggested this event because he wanted a chance to sit down and talk with all of the employees.
The lunch might also be a way of expressing his gratitude for our work? In any case, it’s a voluminous bento box that looks pretty fancy! (I’m getting jealous…)
For lunch this time we had quite the range of participants: from new employees who only entered the company in April to veterans who’ve been with the company since its founding, for a total of 8 people.
First of all, the president wanted to know how everyone was doing! So he asked about what they do for lunch. One employee who usually brings her own lunch said, “I’ve been having trouble getting up in the morning to make my lunch these days…” The president shot back with: “But you’re not that busy right now!”
Then there was some chat about the early days of the employees who’d been with the company since the beginning.
Next, the president badgered a nervous new employee in his typical fast-talking Kansai dialect. “Don’t you feel homesick, living away from home? Are you doing okay?” It turns out the new employee’s first name is the same as his beloved daughter. His familial feeling must have kicked in, and he just kept spouting out the cantankerous old dad phrases. “Don’t have too much fun!” he chided, chuckling.
By the time everyone had finished eating, the talk turned to serious work matters. Concerns about how to train new staff, the difficulty of sharing information throughout the development floor, how to pass on expert know-how, how to use lessons learned on subsequent projects… the topics just kept on coming. The lunch had turned into an exchange of opinions that crossed all boundaries of job type and position.
At one point it got so serious that the president and the CTO, Ohmori, were both holding their heads in their hands in desperation!
Well, the lunch was only an hour and a half long, so there’s no way all the issues were going to get solved. However, by continuing these opportunities, we hope that horizontal and vertical communication will become smoother, and employees will feel even more comfortable and motivated working here. And of course, we want to create amazing games to pass it back to all of you!
This was a little longer than our usual lunch hour of 12:30-1:30, but it sounds like it was really worthwhile. Everyone’s looking forward to next month’s lunch!