What happened to Konami? No, really. What happened to them? In just a few days, we’ve seen signs of the legendary gaming company imploding. From the news that they’re cancelling Silent Hills and pulling out P.T. from the PlayStation Store (a particularly sore spot for me since I never got to experience it myself). The iconic Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear/Metal Gear Solid fame is disgusted with Konami and will leave when (if?) Metal Gear Solid V is complete. Also, Konami quietly removed themselves from the New York Stock Exchange.
While it may seem like Konami is abruptly going all ape all of a sudden, in retrospect, no. They’ve been on this path for quite a while now. Without a lot of us noticing, Konami has slowing but surely been changing a lot. They used to be this company that brought us a lot of joy. Now, they’re a mere shadow of their former selves.
Konami isn’t Konami anymore. They haven’t been for a while now. Konami just isn’t cool anymore.
Why am I saying they’ve already changed a long time ago even though all of this controversy is emerging just now? Well, just look at Konami’s track record with making games then and now. Before, they used to develop and publish a whole slew of games. They had dozens of franchises as well. Now, you can could the number of active franchises on one hand.
Konami’s list of titles is staggering. Castlevania. Contra, Top Gun. Goonies. Double Dribble. Gradius. Rush ‘n’ Attack. The Adventures of Bayou Billy. Jackal. Metal Gear. And those are just the titles from the 8-bit era! Konami also made a ton of memorable arcade games in the past. I can’t count how many hours (and how much allowance) I’ve spent on games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Sunset Riders, G. I. Joe, Lethal Enforcers, Silent Scope and, my personal favorite, the massive six-player X-men arcade game!
Now, what are the major franchises does Konami have? Off the top of my head, the only ones I can name are Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Bemani games (that includes the Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Freaks and Drum Mania arcade games) and Pro Evolution Soccer. Okay, maybe Castlevania can still be included here on this list since Lords of Shadow 2 came out last year. But that’s it! They’ve never bothered with any of their older big-name titles for ages!
Just look at all of the franchises they squandered and didn’t continue! They had major franchises like Suikoden and Zone of The Enders but didn’t do anything with them. There was also the really fun Rumble Roses wrestling game. While dismissed by a lot of people for just pandering to young boys who love breasts, I actually think the original Rumble Roses and its sequel, Rumble Roses XX, was better than a lot of the WWE games during the time! The wrestling system was way better, anyway!
So, where is Konami going anyway? I think they’re planning to get out of the console game making business soon. From what I’ve read from various gaming sites, they’ve diversified and gone into other lines of business. They’re actually into the Health and Fitness industry now as they have dozens of gyms and sports clubs in Japan. While they’re not quitting the gaming industry altogether, Konami will probably focus more on producing mobile games. So, we may see future iterations of older titles make their return on your mobile device soon!
Even if they are still going to be making games, Konami isn’t the juggernaut of the gaming industry it was before. They’ve changed. They’ve changed a long time ago. As a gamer, I say the change is for the worse. But Konami doesn’t owe the gaming world anything. They are free to do what they need to do in order to stay profitable. Business is business… and Konami is getting out of the console gaming business.
I may not like it but I can accept the change.
What do you think is happening over at Konami? Let me know in the comment section below!