Poor Konami can’t even keep its own employees happy let alone make amends with fans. Hideo Kojima is not the only longtime designer with a bone to pick. Another high profile departure has occurred within the company’s halls as Akira Sakuma says he is “officially finished” with his series Momotaro Dentetsu.
Now, this might not mean too much to Americans, but in Japan, it’s quite a big deal. Momotaro Dentetsu is very popular with tens of millions of copies sold to date, and you can’t comb through a retro gaming bin without stumbling on at least ten used copies from five different consoles.
Momotaro Dentetsu is a board game series dealing with various modes of transportation in different cities around Japan, be it planes, boats, and especially trains. Because this is Japan. How else are you going to get around? The series originally fell under Hudson’s banner dating way back to 1988, but Konami fully acquired the iconic company in 2011.
Even at that time, Sakuma had said that he would not make anymore games if his team was replaced and “as long as there’s a guy named Imura at Konami.” That’s quite harsh to publicly call out a fellow employee. Sounds like he followed through, because the series hasn’t seen a release since February 2012.
It seems like the situation still hasn’t simmered down even four years later. Akira Sakuma is “officially finished.”
— さくま あきら (@isetta_23) June 2, 2015
“Konami hasn’t gotten in touch with me at all. This is how they’ve tossed me aside for a while now. I’m announcing here that Momotaro Dentetsu is officially done. Ishikawa at Konami squelched everything.”
Of course, Sakuma can’t “officially” call the series off as long as Konami owns it. Sour grapes are bound to ensue for further complicating the recent troubles of Konami, so you can expect to see a new and horrible Momotaro Dentetsu hit smartphones after the week it’ll take to slap something together.
Is this drama ever going to end?