Is Konami Abandoning The Video Game Industry? | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Is Konami Abandoning

The Video Game Industry?


New information is coming to light on Kojima getting let go from Konami, and it goes far deeper than Kojima Productions and Metal Gear Solid V. It looks like times are changing for Konami, and they may be dropping AAA video game production completely. According to Super Bunnyhop, an independent video game journalist, industry insiders have confirmed a massive shift in the company’s direction away from video game development and distribution, with a focus on gambling machines.

The source revealed that “hundreds of people are going to lose their jobs,” and “Konami is going to burn the entire MGS franchise to the ground.” While Konami has stated that they look forward to continuing the franchise after MGSV and even put out recruitment ads for new designers, it’s just as likely that all of this is just for the show. No one at Konami wants any more of a scandal than it already has, and Kojima Productions (or ‘Unit 8’ as corporate is now calling the group of designers) wants to release their hard work.

There’s been tons of rumors about mistreatment of the game developers, and these emails clarify that situation. “Guys working on the Kojima report and all the web based stuff has had their accounts wiped and have to start all over again.” The emails describe “frequent black-outs, security doors are not working, people being forced to move desks every few days.” There’s been several reports of phone usage being denied, and internet being taken away from the staff.

Evidently, a lot of this has to do with Kojima’s costly designs, with the source revealing that “Kagemasa Kozuki, the CEO of Konami hates Kojima,” going on to state that “[Kojima] uses too much money, spends too much time and even though MGS is profitable, it’s still not making enough money.” The source went on to say “Kagemasa wants them out, but he can’t just fire the whole team at once, so he’s forcing them to quit on their own terms.”

So what is making Konami money? Gambling machines and mobile games. Mobile is extremely profitable in Japan, and Konami evidently is shifting its focus along with the industry to a more freemium market. Konami evidently is planning on doing this in a ‘very extreme way.’ In fact, the teams behind ‘Dance Dance Revolution’, another one of Konami’s most profitable game series, “has been merged with all the other audio engineers for example. No longer are there different teams for each game, it’s all just, the audio team, animation team, programming team ext. working on multiple games at once.”

But that’s not all; Konami seems to be gearing up for new frontiers with it’s new assortment of video game based slot machines. According to their quarterly reports, Konami makes three times as much money on their gambling and pachinko machines than they do on video games. With Japan’s gambling laws being evaluated, Konami stands a real chance of trampling the emerging market with it’s licensed trademarks.

This all may seem unlikely if it wasn’t for the fact that Konami effectively pulled themselves from the New York Stock Exchange on April 24. The official reason for this action was because of hefty costs with U.S. regulatory compliance costs to the tune of five million dollars a year. They also officially announced today that Silent Hills, based on the well received P.T. demo, has officially been canceled. Konami also confirmed to Gamespot that “Konami has switched from a studio-based to a headquarters-based organization, so [Kojima Productions] wouldn’t be listed as a studio anymore.”

What do you think? Is this the end of Konami’s long time relationship with the video game industry, or is this just restructuring to a big and better Konami? We requested more information from SuperBunnyHop, but they were unable to be reached for comment. We’ll be following this story as details emerge.