Working in the video game industry is not easy. Conditions are improving, but there has long been pressure to release games on time. This can mean overtime and the dreaded “crunch” to get games out the door on schedule.

Here in Japan, developers aren’t only working hard. They are also making less than their counterparts in the United States. Bandai Namco, Capcom and Koei Tecmo, three of Japan's biggest game developers, are trying to change that — albeit slowly.

Effective April 1, the start of the Japanese financial year, Bandai Namco awarded all employees an average raise of ¥50,000 and increased the company's monthly base pay to ¥290,000. Koei Tecmo, makers of Ninja Gaiden, followed suit by boosting base salaries by 23%. The increase goes into effect in June, with the salaries retroactively increasing from April. That means that entry-level employees will now make at least ¥290,000 per month.