“We will pursue mobile games aggressively,” says Konami’s new CEO. We’ve been speculating for weeks that Konami had lost interest in the console gaming space, and CEO Hideki Hayakawa confirmed it in an interview this week with Nikkei Trendy Net, which has been translated by NeoGAF user HGH.
“Our main platform will be mobiles. Following the pay-as-you-play model of games like Power Pro and Winning Eleven with additional content, our games must move from selling things like ‘items’ to selling things like ‘features,'” Hayakawa says. He says that even people who typically buy physical games ended up spending money on Konami’s mobile games, and that the success of games like Power Pro has pushed them further into the mobile space. One NeoGAF user points out that it recently came out that Konami’s Power Pro game is grossing hundreds of thousands to $1 million a day for the company.
Console gaming is not doing well in Japan. The PlayStation 4 is the best-selling system right now, and it’s not doing much compared to the way it’s flying off the shelves in western territories. To that end, Hayakawa refers to console games like Metal Gear Solid V and the console version of Winning Eleven as “overseas” games. Hayakawa suggests that console games are no longer a Japanese product. Even those products Hayakawa says he’d like to find a way to push onto mobile platforms as well.
“The platform that is always closest to us is mobile,” he says. “Mobile is where the future of gaming lies.”
With Silent Hills in the trash, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain may, indeed, be Konami’s swan song in the world of traditional gaming.
It’s a disappointing conclusion, but with the company’s primary focus being on the Japanese market, it makes sense. Investing in risky, multi-year, multi-million dollar game projects doesn’t make sense when you can create games that pull in piles of money every day with much less work and smaller teams.
This can likely be considered Konami’s official exit from the console market, with the September 1 release of Metal Gear Solid V as the final gasp. Well, it’s like Harvey Dent said in The Dark Knight: “Either you die a console game publisher or live long enough to see yourself become a mobile game company.” At least, I think that’s what he said.