This story has gone from a goofy Internet rumor to being the real deal over the course month. What at first seemed like Metal Gear Solid director Hideo Kojima trying to flex his nerd muscles in the face of Konami executives has now evolved into Konami possibly pulling itself from not only video games but doing business in America all together. A supernova implosion before our very eyes.
The application for this voluntary withdrawal was handed in on April 1st, and Konami cited that 99.71 percent of its business was done in Japan and London. The company can save $5 million a year without the listing, and while it doesn’t bar the company from operating in America, it does mean that its stocks can’t be directly traded.
It makes sense, too. Konami has become incredibly Japan focused recently through other ventures besides traditional video games. Mobile games, pachinko parlors, sporting gyms, and real estate. All safer and more profitable than video games, none of which Konami has a shot at pursuing in the States.
Keep in mind that this is still just speculation. The delisting is very real, but Konami’s departure from its video gaming enterprise has been obvious for some time. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Silent Hills were its last console games in development, and Konami hasn’t even announced a Pro Evolution Soccer for this year. Fewer and fewer releases from classic franchises and the departure of so many notable personnel. Struggles to recuperate from the rise of HD gaming. Favorite son Hideo Kojima demanding bigger and bigger budgets to make his Hollywood geek fantasies come to life.
We’ve seen the writing on the wall for quite some time, and it’s just finally coming true. I’m not so miffed about it, because I think I was prepared for this day.
I suppose I should be grateful that we got Suikoden II on PSN out of it before Konami wrapped up shop completely. I’m on my knees praying that its PlayStation 2 successors and Azure Dreams get the same treatment before all is lost.
Gotta pour one out for Snake, Simon Belmont, Soma Cruz, Aluard, Goemon and Ebisumaru, McDohl, Lance and Bill, Takosuke, and all of my homies at Konami. It’s been real, fellas. Thanks for 30 wonderful years of memories.