Roughly four months ago, I wrote a piece during the entire Konami debacle when the company decided to remove PT from the PlayStation Store and Hideo Kojima’s name being wiped from all printed materials of Metal Gear Solid. In it, I mentioned, while they were still known as a huge name in the gaming industry, I felt Konami hasn’t been the gaming juggernaut they used to be. I also predicted they would be leaving the console gaming business.
And, apparently, I was correct for the most part. Recently, a whole slew of gaming news sites have been reporting that Konami will be ceasing production of video games for modern consoles, save for the Pro Evolution Soccer series. Lately, however, Konami has been saying that these are all just rumors, they have yet to ease the gaming world’ fears with an official statement. So, nothing is official but I think it’s only a matter of time.
However, a lot of gamers have lost a lot of faith with the company and with good reason. There have been reports of how the company mistreats their employees and a extremely toxic work environment. A lot of their main guys, such as the aforementioned Hideo Kojima as well as Koji Igarashi, the man who produced the later Castlevania games, have left the company as well for new horizons, away from the shackles of Konami’s dungeons… err, developer studios.
In fact, some people are actually rooting for Konami to just give up making Triple-A games. They have a pretty good argument in that they haven’t done anything good with a lot of their other successful and popular intellectual properties in a while. There hasn’t been a new Contra, Suikoden or Vandal Hearts game in ages. The recent Castlevania games that were produced without Koji Igarashi or Hideo Kojima (he helped produce Lords of Shadows) weren’t particularly good. Silent Hill has been cancelled just as they raised so much interest with releasing PT. Heck, Konami seems to be satisfied with making pachinko games based on their popular franchises! Really loud pachinko games, by the way.
I honestly understand the argument that Konami has to leave the gaming industry as it’s becoming one of the most despised publishers today. But a part of me still doesn’t want Konami to go because I just have too many good memories about the company. Growing up, Konami was synonymous with quality games. I’ve mentioned Contra, Suikoden and Vandal Hearts; those were definitely superb games. So are Castlevania, Metal Gear and Silent Hill. But Konami was more than those game franchises.
During the 8-bit generation, I enjoyed a plethora of Konami published games like Goonies II, Life Force, Gradius, Double Dribble, Rush ‘n’ Attack and Top Gun. I used to spend my days at the local arcade after school playing Konami games such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, Sunset Riders, GI Joe, Lethal Enforcers and, of course, the ever popular humungous 6-player, dual-screen X-Men arcade game. Welcome to die, indeed!
Ultimately, I think that’s why a lot of gamers are so upset with what Konami is doing now. We have such really good memories of their games. We had fantastic times playing their games and, to see what they’re doing now, is just heartbreaking. Konami was a name you can trust and now, well, they aren’t. It’s like seeing your best friend from childhood after a long period of time. But, instead of him or her being the terrific and happy person from yesteryear, you see this bitter and angry person who’s just no fun to be around. It’s painful to see what became of that person, isn’t it? That’s how I feel about Konami.
So, should Konami quit publishing Triple-A games? If their heart isn’t into it anymore, yes. I think they should quit. I will mourn their loss and I will remember them as a great game publishing company when they started out. But I will also remember the terrible pain and heartache they’ve caused millions of gamers because of their selfish behavior.
Good-bye or good riddance, Konami? It’s both, actually.
What’s your take on the entire Konami situation? Let me know in the comments section below!