New hires to get paid more too following very profitable year.

Since April is the start of the business year in Japan, it’s also when companies announce many of their major policy changes, and video game developer Capcom just made one announcement that’s going to make a lot of people happy; its workers are going to get paid more.

The Osaka-based company, best known as the publisher of the Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and Monster Hunter franchises, announced the change on March 31, deftly heading off anyone accusing it of being an April Fool’s joke. Capcom will be raising salaries for full-time permanent employees (called seishain in Japanese) in order to increase average salaries for the company by 30 percent.

The raises won’t be limited to existing employees, either. Like most large Japanese companies, Capcom offers a standard starting contract to new employees starting work straight out of college, and their salaries will be increased by 47,500 yen (US$383) a month compared to starting contracts from a year ago, bringing them up to 235,000 yen. According to Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun financial paper this makes Capcom’s entry-level salary among the highest in the Japanese game industry, and comparable with the one offered by Nintendo.

Extra cash in your pocket is always a desirable thing, and online reactions to Capcom’s powered-up salaries have included:

“30-percent raises? Capcom is awesome.”
“Capcom was never all that generous with its pay, so this is good news for their workers.”
“It must be hard for game companies to retain staff.”
“They’re probably doing this to keep workers from jumping ship to overseas developers, especially ones in China.”
“It’s really motivating when the company you work for is willing to share its profits with the employees.”
“My company needs to look at what Capcom is doing and do the same!”

In regards to that last comment, Capcom is likely in an easier position to be handing out raises than a lot of other companies these days. Between April and December of 2021, the company saw a 52-percent increase in net income compared to the same period from a year before, bolstered by the success of Resident Evil 8 (which was released in May 2021) and an increasing number of digital sales, which equate to higher profit margins for the publisher.

Capcom also announced that it will be restructuring its compensation system so that employee bonuses more accurately reflect the company’s business performance for the period. Bonuses are customarily given out twice a year by large companies in Japan and, in good times, total about three months’ salary, and it’s possible that when Capcom says “more accurately reflect” they’re saying that bonuses will be harder to come by unless the company is doing extraordinarily well. Still, even if the new system is simply folding the money workers might have gotten as bonuses into their monthly salaries, a higher, more stable monthly income is a win, something for Capcom’s workers, like their counterparts at Bandai Namco and sake brewer Dassai, to be happy about.

Source: Capcom, Nihon Keizai Shimbun via Hachima Kiko, Twitter (1, 2)
Top image: Pakutaso
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