Is Konami Taking the Easy Way Out by Switching to Mobile Games and Gambling Machines?

Konami booth in the 2012 expo

Konami booth in the 2012 expo

Gamers all around the world are questioning Konami’s decision to leave the world of AAA games and switch to creating mobile games and gambling machines. Mobile games, that’s understandable, but gambling machines, that is harder to register. Give Konami the benefit of doubt, as they are probably making the switch with a heavy heart, but have a legitimate reason to do so.

You do not have to like the reason, as Konami will stop producing AAA games that you all love playing so much, even at the cost of losing their best and most highly qualified people; their decision will stand. Financial concerns, fall out with key players, and a bad reputation in Japan has all led to Konami’s downfall in the AAA games market.

The company realized they would have to switch gears was when they invested over $80 million in Metal Gear Solid V. Add to that expense, the rising costs of development in AAA has skyrocketed. Even though Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a successful revenue source, the money generated from their sales is just not enough to keep such a large company going. Other examples of carnage in the AAA game market developers include Irrational Games, THQ, and Team Bondi who shut their doors on AAA games and the industry forever.

Konami is just trying to survive and to keep its head above water. Their strategy to develop gambling machines and mobile games is less risky financially. Instead of investing a lot of money, they will be investing smaller amounts.

However, not everyone at Konami believes this is the right direction, but understanding that this decision if final  a key player is reported to be leaving his post -s Julilen Merceron, the worldwide technology director, is parting ways with the company, as Konami is no longer doing what he loves and has invested his time in doing all these years.

He’s not the only key player who has left the company in recent years, as Hideo Kojima left because the heads of Konami refused to fund his projects. Koji Igarashi, producer of Castlevania, Jonathan Murphy, brand manager of Pro Evolution Soccer, and Tak Fugi, producer and manager, followed him. Then another bomb dropped on them when a Japanese newspaper reported Konami’s ill treatment of their employees, writing that they gave employees degrading and menial tasks, monitored their lunch breaks, and forbid them to talk with outsiders.

Konami will leave the world of console game development behind to develop mobile games and gambling machines, but there is one last console game they willrelease before they exit the industry. They have the rights to the Euro 2016 football tournament so there is hope they will use these rights to release their last console game.

The company has ceased the development of all console games, except of Pro Evolution Soccer series. All you will be left with is memories of what Konami was once was and what it now has become.


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