Konami isn’t getting out of the business of making console games despite reports claiming otherwise, the company says.
Nintendo Life reached out to Konami’s customer support and was told that “I can promise you that we’re definitely not leaving Metal Gear behind or anything like that. I know some blogs were claiming that online this morning, but I’m not really sure where they’re getting that from. We’re definitely working on console games and franchises such as Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania, PES and all the rest.”
Konami has previously stated things like this, saying that they want to “build up a comprehensive portfolio of console, arcade, and card game titles for each IP while also making the best possible use of mobile devices that accompany our customers in their daily life.”
This seems, though, to be a case of them saying one thing and doing another. So many of their actions in the past six months suggest that their interest in console games has all but disappeared. Back in May, Konami’s new CEO Hideki Hayakawa said that the company’s “main platform will be mobiles,” adding that “even people who buy physical games are motivated to buy extra content.” The company also forced out Metal Gear director Hideo Kojima and before that Castlevania director Koji Igarashi who said of Konami, “As long as I was able to make Castlevania games, it was fun. But then, I wasn’t.” The sudden cancellation of Silent Hills shouldn’t be forgotten, either.
The best case scenario I see coming from this is if Konami started licensing their IPs out to third parties for development, profiting off the license and publishing without getting into the costs of development, but my guess is we’ll see more in the way of pachinko machines and free to play money sinks. The customer service comments are evasive at best, which is to be expected – customer service reps aren’t exactly given a lot of latitude to say whatever they like. “Console games” could simply refer to their continuing of the Pro Evolution Soccer series, and they’re already continuing Silent Hill and Castlevania with electronic slot machines. They could even get into the remake game that Capcom is getting so much mileage out of.
Exactly what Konami’s plans are remains to be seen, but these comments don’t give us much to go off of as we try to figure exactly what it is they’re up to.