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Visas for Anime & Manga & Gaming Jobs in Japan

This video from the TheJapanChannelDcom just emphasises that it is still difficult to get visas at games comapnies in Japan. Your best bet is always to work with a specialist games agency like Interactive Selection with a track record of finding jobs for programmers and a few other specialist roles in Japan. There are a few opportunities but being able to speak some Japanese is important.

Some game programmers in Japan are not well paid. Surprise, surprise.

A recent thread on the notorious 2ch BBS system asked Japanese video game programmers, what is your take-home pay per month?

Matt Altus translated a few of the answers, and the numbers reported seem surprisingly low:

“¥130,000 For 256 hours of work a month.” (For reference, a ‘normal’ 40-hour work week equals 160 hours per month.)

“My only take-home pay is the smiles of our customers.”

“Let me tell you, the minimum salaries that game companies claim to pay employees are total BS. Ads promising ¥250,000+ a month? In reality they pay ¥130,000 a month. ¥200,000+ a month? In reality they pay ¥110,000 a month. Oh, and then you get taxes withheld. So take-home’s like ¥70,000-80,000 a month. Ah ha ha ha!”

“¥160,000 and I am ready to die. I can’t even afford the ‘recruit suit’ I’ll need for interviewing for another job.”

“Salary varies from individual to individual so it’s hard to say, but speaking about the industry as a whole you can definitely say ‘low enough to make people regret dedicating themselves to games.’ A precious few blessed with talent can earn a living wage. And an even more precious few who get lucky can make more than a living wage.”

“More than an animator makes, that’s for sure.”

“My boyfriend’s case is between ¥130,000 and ¥140,000 a month, with no bonus, a 230 hour work-month, a balding head and a hazy future.”

“¥180,000 a month, no bonus, and only thanks to the company dorm can I afford to live in Tokyo.”

“I’m 27, live in Tokyo, working for a major company, and make ¥680,000 a month, with a separate yearly bonus…. But it isn’t in the game industry. Ha!”

It’s important to remember that all of the above comments are unsubstantiated, let alone connected to any specific game company (of which there are many aside from the five or six major ones.) But it is definite food for thought for the legions of youngsters out there with dreams of making their fortune in the world of videogames.

This post was reproduced from the original article at : http://www.cnngo.com/tokyo/none/so-you-wanna-be-japanese-video-game-programmer-159617

Gamers Voice in Japan - Justin Wong, Sega Club & Tekken 6

World fighting game champion Justin Wong joins Games Voice on their Japan quest for shopping, Club Sega & Tekken. A good introduction to the world of games on the streets of Tokyo in Japan.

General advice on how to get a job in Japan

A general advice video fron Andrew Marston. “Here’s the method I used for getting a job in Japan that was quite successful. After three interviews I had offers for four positions. Please realize, also, that most jobs acquired by foreigners in Japan are English teaching positions. Side note: Having a bachelors degree is almost a must in order for the Japanese Immigration Office to grant you a visa.” He does mot mention Interactive Selection or the games industry but it is worth watching.

10 Job Search tips from global games recruiter Interactive Selection

1. ALWAYS REGISTER WITH AT LEAST ONE AGENCY

You cannot know of all the vacancies that exist in the marketplace. It is our job to know. We don’t promise to know every one, but we do know of 95% and more importantly, we know exactly who to get your resume or CV to. Don’t assume that all resumes or CV’s sent to a company find their way to the right person’s desk.

2. SELECT YOUR AGENCY CAREFULLY

Who has given you a good service in the past? Which agencies have a good reputation and which ones have appalling reputations? Ask around. Study testimonials on site like LinkedIn.

3. BEWARE REGISTERING WITH MULTIPLE AGENCIES

Candidates good at their jobs need only work with one agency (to help organise interviews for them). Candidates only average at their job should register with different agencies in different areas of expertise – they will need more help. Do NOT register with as many agencies as possible. Some companies reject resumes or CVs if received from more than one agency because they do not want to risk disputes with different agencies. Also individual recruitment consultants value the trust of exclusive relationships and will not spend as much time on candidates that they know have registered with multiple agencies.

4. PUT TOGETHER A PROFESSIONAL RESUME OR CV

Speed isn’t everything in finding your next job. Even top artists can design adisappointing resume or  CV. Get your agency to advise you on your resume or CV. They are probably writing resumes or CVs every day of the week and they know what makes a good one. You may only do it once every few years.

5. THINK ABOUT YOUR JOB HUNTING STRATEGY

Think about what you realistically want from your next job. Apply for jobs that you stand a chance of getting! A senior artist job in one company may be just as prestigious and well paid as a lead artist in another company. Be flexible about the location that you want to work in. Don’t rule out relocating for the right job. This is expected more and more.

6. COMMUNICATE YOUR STRATEGY TO YOUR AGENT AND MAKE SURE THEY FOLLOW IT

Discuss your strategy with your agent to make sure it is realistic. If it is, don’t let your agent send your resume or CV just anywhere. It may damage your credibility and could cost you your existing job!

7. KEEP A RECORD OF WHERE YOUR RESUME OR CV HAS BEEN SENT

By all means allow your agent a free hand in selecting companies for you – only if you want your agent to have this freedom. Remember that you will get a bad reputation in the marketplace (as well as the agent) if you resume or CV goes to a company that already knows you or which you subsequently have to disappoint.

8. TALK REGULARLY WITH YOUR AGENT

A good agent will always find time to talk to you. If they cannot take the call immediately, they should at least be able to return your call. The best agents are extremely busy and do not have the time for everyday chats, but they should be able to take a call every 2 weeks or so. Beware of agents that never return phone calls!

9. DONT TOLERATE POOR STANDARDS FROM A BAD AGENT!

Find a good agent and develop the relationship with him or her. If you hit a serious problem, you can terminate your relationship with an agent at any time, provided that you let them know of this, preferably in writing. You are the principal and they are working for you! Most agents are professional and doing their best. But don’t tolerate bad practice or sloppy behavior. Your reputation within the marketplace is at stake.

10. DON’T PANIC!

The economic climate is not good but it is improving slowly. There IS demand for game professionals provided you show a little flexibility in salary and location. Your time will come, so stay calm. A good agent will not stop working for you. You have someone looking after your interests. Work together and in 6 months time you will be wondering what all the fuss was about!

Hello world!

Welcome to Games Jobs Japan – the lastest initiative from Interactive Selection – the first and only global games recruiter. We offer more help to more international job seekers in video games than anyone else! Register your interest today. It free at http://www.jobsdbase.net/register.asp