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Namco Ignores Programmer Mental Health

It's been revealed that Japanese video game and arcade giant Namco, ignores the mental health issues of its programmers, even at the urgings of physicians - to the point that they commit suicide.

While Apple might be getting a lot of attention for its poor employee working conditions, it's not the only firm that deserves it. Namco in Japan has now been revealed to ignore requests for transfers and reprieve, including when those requests are made by the physician of an employee. The ultimate end to the saga of requests? The worker in question committed suicide.

Kotaku has handled the translation for the original My News Japan posting, saying that the man in question worked as part of Namco's Panchi slot machine division. Originally "Mr N" as he's called in the article, wanted to work at Namco to make video games and found the environment in the Panchi programming department too stressful.

He soon began suffering from depression and began requesting to be transferred. Even when his doctor contacted Namco to make the request on his behalf it was denied. Nine months after becoming part of the Panchi division, Mr N committed suicide.

The news of this event has only just been released because of an ongoing court case between Mr N's family and Namco, which claimed it had fulfilled all safety obligations in regards to its employee. However, the family ultimately won, receiving a payout of unspecified amount.

This is unlikely to be a single incident in a country that features some of the world's highest suicide rates. Hopefully reports like this will help raise awareness and make it easier for individuals to get help or at least know where their health will be respected and where it won't be.