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What is Konami doing?

Konami has killed its golden goose. Has it found a new goose or did it just lay a big egg?

I just can’t see the long plan, Konami. Help me out here.

Next month, Konami is releasing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the last game in one of their most popular series ever. But when the fanfare eventually dies down and sales dwindle, what will they do? They don’t have any other major franchises to fall back on, not anymore.

The Metal Gear Solid series was headed by Hideo Kojima, but he's left under still-mysterious circumstances. In a statement by Konami, the company states that they have plans to continue the Metal Gear series and is auditioning for a new lead developer.

If I had a cane right now, I would shake the living heck out of it at mobile games. But from everything I’ve heard, mobile games are profitable and Konami is a large company. They’ve got to go where the money is. 

Kojima’s other project, Silent Hills, has also been cancelled. This is a beloved franchise that was on the cusp of being resurrected. It’s confounding to think that after Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro created a playable trailer (P.T.) that received positive critical reception, Silent Hills would be axed like that.

Now, just go back a little further to 2014. Koji Igarashi left Konami to start his own studio and launched a Kickstarter for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a Metroidvania game published by Deep Silver. Castlevania, while not exactly being nailed into its coffin, has a murky future.

After all this harrowing news, Konami would appear to be retreating from making games entirely. However, CEO Hideki Hayakawa assures fans that that is not the case. Instead, Konami will be focused on producing mobile games.

The success of Power Pro especially has motivated us to actively push more of our popular series onto mobile than ever before. Gaming has spread to a number of platforms, but at the end of the day, the platform that is always closest to us, is mobile. Mobile is where the future of gaming lies.

I hear many of you groaning, and I know where you're coming from. If I had a cane right now, I would shake the living heck out of it at mobile games. But from everything I’ve heard, mobile games are profitable and Konami is a large company. They’ve got to go where the money is. They've got to meet a bottom line.

It would certainly explain why they’ve been taking their Castlevania and Silent Hill franchises into the pachinko parlor.

While Kojima and Igarashi are walking into unknown territory, I imagine it’s actually very liberating to know they can make the games that they want and not have to worry about having their creativity stifled. After all, Iga’s Kickstarter was funded at record-breaking levels, and Kojima is still communicating with Guillermo Del Toro. This could be the best scenario for everybody after all.

But does that mean Konami is making the right decision for their company? Will they rise up like a Flappy Bird from the ashes? I suppose only time will tell.

Published Aug. 9th 2015
  • Duran Boskovic
    Contributor
    sure mobile brings in cash with less overhead but more than a polished AAA with fan rep and a proper budget that's not deluding itself into expecting a COD sized market? Not a chance
  • Michael Slevin
    Columnist
    and with mobile games I feel like you aren't building as much of a consistent core audience (aside from whales). And having a game that blows up is certainly not guaranteed. But Castlevania, MGS, and Silent Hills are franchises that, if done right, could get people really excited to hand over their money.

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