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Gambosaka LD

Game industry in Japan and South Korea

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Gambosaka LD    228

Has anyone worked in game companies in Japan or South Korea?

 

It seems that there are a lot of jobs in these countries, with that being said, how hard would be for a foreigner to work in a company in Japan or South Korea in an entry level position? (knowing Japanese or Korean at a high level)

Are there prejudice with foreigners? If yes how hard is for a foreigner to grow in a company because of the Prejudice?

Edited by Gambo

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frob    44975

I've known quite a few people who worked in Japan for some time.

 

Prejudice is not a major concern from what I've read and heard.

 

The requirements are basically to have a degree, to live in Japan, and to have the right paperwork to allow you to work there. Then you need to find a job.

 

The biggest difference from what i've heard and read would go something like this:

 

Employer: You have heard about work-life balance?

Worker: Yes, I want to have a nice balance of work-life and home-life.

Employer: That's not how it works in Japan. Home-life is for your family. We have a work-life. You need to balance your work-life so that you can contribute to more work-life.

 

If you really are fluent in both Japanese and English, or in both Korean and English, you could likely be even more popular in tech environments for international companies. 

 

I don't know about Korean work, but it is likely fairly similar. If you are fluent in both languages, you have a 4-year degree, you live in the area already, and you are legally allowed to work, then prejudice is not likely to harm you.

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Gambosaka LD    228

I've known quite a few people who worked in Japan for some time.

 

Prejudice is not a major concern from what I've read and heard.

 

The requirements are basically to have a degree, to live in Japan, and to have the right paperwork to allow you to work there. Then you need to find a job.

 

The biggest difference from what i've heard and read would go something like this:

 

Employer: You have heard about work-life balance?

Worker: Yes, I want to have a nice balance of work-life and home-life.

Employer: That's not how it works in Japan. Home-life is for your family. We have a work-life. You need to balance your work-life so that you can contribute to more work-life.

 

If you really are fluent in both Japanese and English, or in both Korean and English, you could likely be even more popular in tech environments for international companies. 

 

I don't know about Korean work, but it is likely fairly similar. If you are fluent in both languages, you have a 4-year degree, you live in the area already, and you are legally allowed to work, then prejudice is not likely to harm you.

 

Thank you for the answer

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L. Spiro    25638

Has anyone worked in game companies in Japan or South Korea?

I have worked and lived (not necessarily in that order) in Tokyo for 6 over years.
 

how hard would be for a foreigner to work in a company in Japan or South Korea in an entry level position? (knowing Japanese or Korean at a high level)

Knowledge of Japanese is helpful, but everything really depends on being smart about where you apply.
I work at Square Enix and most foreigners here (not including myself) interviewed over Skype, got the job with no Japanese language skills, and flew over, many of them directly out of a University (no prior experience).
K-SOFT, the company where I worked first in Japan, has also done this, and so has my previous company tri-Ace.

So clearly it is possible to have no experience, not live here, not know the language, and still get a job.
In preparation of the Olympics this is becoming slightly more common as the country as a whole opens up slightly more to foreigners.

But it is not your best bet. Maximize your chances by being here for the interview, speaking the language fluently, and having some work experience.
Another good strategy for maximizing your chances in any situation is to apply to many many companies.


Also note that you do not need a degree for programming jobs.  If that was necessary, I’d have taken the time to get one.
 
 

Are there prejudice with foreigners?

I truly don’t care what others think of me, so much so I literally don’t notice if anyone is being prejudice unless they make it extremely obvious. I have had only 2 cases that stick out in my mind, and in the 2nd every other Japanese came to my “rescue” and he got kicked out of the place (I was giving a piano performance for a small audience and he tried to boo me).

If yes how hard is for a foreigner to grow in a company because of the Prejudice?

You typically can’t own a Japanese company (though you can own your own company).
The CTO of Kojima Productions is a foreigner. The general manager and many leaders in Silicon Studios are French. The technical director in Square Enix is French, and many leaders are foreigners. I am a senior training to be a leader.
In other words you can rise to anything but the absolute top.


As for working conditions, once again, just be smart about where you work. I have never worked severe over-time except by choice.
But it is also very common for severe over-time to be expected of you to show your “dedication” in many companies outside of game programming.
Just don’t work for them if you don’t want to have that kind of lifestyle.


I don’t know about South Korea or North Korea, though I have my doubts that North Korea actually exists.


L. Spiro

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Gambosaka LD    228

 

Has anyone worked in game companies in Japan or South Korea?

I have worked and lived (not necessarily in that order) in Tokyo for 6 over years.
 

how hard would be for a foreigner to work in a company in Japan or South Korea in an entry level position? (knowing Japanese or Korean at a high level)

Knowledge of Japanese is helpful, but everything really depends on being smart about where you apply.
I work at Square Enix and most foreigners here (not including myself) interviewed over Skype, got the job with no Japanese language skills, and flew over, many of them directly out of a University (no prior experience).
K-SOFT, the company where I worked first in Japan, has also done this, and so has my previous company tri-Ace.

So clearly it is possible to have no experience, not live here, not know the language, and still get a job.
In preparation of the Olympics this is becoming slightly more common as the country as a whole opens up slightly more to foreigners.

But it is not your best bet. Maximize your chances by being here for the interview, speaking the language fluently, and having some work experience.
Another good strategy for maximizing your chances in any situation is to apply to many many companies.


Also note that you do not need a degree for programming jobs.  If that was necessary, I’d have taken the time to get one.
 
 

Are there prejudice with foreigners?

I truly don’t care what others think of me, so much so I literally don’t notice if anyone is being prejudice unless they make it extremely obvious. I have had only 2 cases that stick out in my mind, and in the 2nd every other Japanese came to my “rescue” and he got kicked out of the place (I was giving a piano performance for a small audience and he tried to boo me).

If yes how hard is for a foreigner to grow in a company because of the Prejudice?

You typically can’t own a Japanese company (though you can own your own company).
The CTO of Kojima Productions is a foreigner. The general manager and many leaders in Silicon Studios are French. The technical director in Square Enix is French, and many leaders are foreigners. I am a senior training to be a leader.
In other words you can rise to anything but the absolute top.


As for working conditions, once again, just be smart about where you work. I have never worked severe over-time except by choice.
But it is also very common for severe over-time to be expected of you to show your “dedication” in many companies outside of game programming.
Just don’t work for them if you don’t want to have that kind of lifestyle.


I don’t know about South Korea or North Korea, though I have my doubts that North Korea actually exists.


L. Spiro

 

 

Thank you for the insight.

 

If you mind telling, how did you find the job offers from the companies in Japan?

I remember that Square Enix has a recruitment page in English although there were only jobs in the UK, have you searched in any website with video game jobs such as gamasutra?

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L. Spiro    25638

I have never used Gamasutra and friends.

 

If you want a list of companies in Tokyo, search Google for ???????.

The first link will be: http://zenmai-kun.net/search.php/tokyo/

The last column tells you if they have any job offers.

 

When you have an idea of what company to investigate, whether from that list or one you already know (such as Square Enix), visit the company’s Japanese page (http://www.jp.square-enix.com/).  I found tri-Ace from that site.

 

 

L. Spiro

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