For those who are sick of the recent glut of Konami-related news, this is not the article for you. This week, Konami Entertainment President Hideki Hayakawa opened up on the company’s future development plans. In an interview with Nikkei, Hayakawa revealed that Konami will now be focusing on mobile and pay-as-you-play games.
By The Numbers
This news follows Konami’s fiscal end year reports which indicate a higher net profit compared to the previous year: $79.2 million USD compared to $31.7 million. Despite the increase in overall net income, there was a slight drop in revenue from digital entertainment. Most of Konami’s game profit can be attributed to mobile games such as Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyu.
While the report did not break earnings down by mobile and home entertainment, profits from Konami’s Health and Fitness division are on the decline, while Konami’s gambling division has seen considerable revenue growth.
Konami has also delisted itself from the New York Stock Exchange. This is no doubt a cost-cutting move to avoid the cost of U.S. financial regulations and fees. Additionally, there is no benefit from Konami remaining on the NYSE given that the Tokyo Stock Exchange recently opened itself to overseas investors.
What About The Games?
Currently Konami has faced some woes regarding it’s games. Between the cancellation of Silent Hills and Kojima’s reported exit from Konami pending the completion of Metal Gear Solid V, it’s hard not to think that Konami’s new business plan is not somehow involved.
Silent Hills is arguably a costly endeavor, as not only did it boast Kojima’s name and branding, it also featured Norman Reedus’ likeness and Guillermo del Toro as a director. Kojima’s games have been rumored to be extremely expensive to produce on their own, and adding additional star power probably made Konami’s financial department sweat like a cat in a Chinese restaurant.
Currently, there’s a petition to revive Silent Hills. It currently has over 137,000 signatures and has a target of 150,000. Despite the project’s death, Guillermo del Toro’s involvement in video games appears to be far from over, as his company Mirada Studios is attached to Bethesda’s upcoming Fallout 4. Hopefully, we’ll hear more about that at E3.
Metal Gear Solid V is currently the only global game on Konami’s slate right now. No doubt it might be their last major multi-platform release too. Considering Konami’s shift to mobile gaming, I wouldn’t blame Kojima for wanting to leave the company or the industry.
Currently, many gamers across social media have expressed disdain for Konami’s new business plan. Mobile games are usually scoffed at by gamers and few people want to play them. Hopefully, this change in direction won’t spell an end to traditional games for Konami.