The entire situation at Konami over the last few weeks has been incredibly strange. Relationships with famed developer Hideo Kojima seemingly worsened almost out of nowhere. He’s leaving the company once Metal Gear Solid V is released. His other game, a collaboration with director Guillermo del Toro has been cancelled. The sage behind P.T. grew stranger and stranger. The game is no longer available for download in any form. It seemed from the outside that Konami was distancing themselves from video games altogether.
That’s not the case, apparently, they’re just shifting their focus. Speaking with Nikkei, Konami President Hideki Hayakawa spoke about the future of the company.
“Our main platforms will be mobiles,” he began. “Gaming has spread to a number of platforms, but at the end of the day, the platform that is always closest to us, is mobile. Mobile is where the future of gaming lies.”
Free-to-play designed games have been a key area of focus and success for the company recently and Mr. Hayakawa said that is where they will begin to direct their efforts. They’re not alone in that as much of the Japanese game market has shifted towards mobile. Other high profile development companies like Capcom and Sega have moved a lot of their focus towards mobile devices. Even companies like Nintendo, a place that up until very recently was firmly against mobile development, are exploring opportunities in that market.
Will we see more console related video games from Konami in the future? Only time will tell. It appears, though, that they’re more interested in the mobile market than developing for more traditional gaming platforms.
There are three recent Kickstarter campaigns that I’ve looked at that should give the video game industry something to think about. At the same time there’s one long running developer that continues to be successful without seeing mass exoduses of its employees. All of these things are something that can be used to learn what I think makes for a good development environment. Neither scenario is completely perfect, but neither should they be ignored. There’s a nice balance between the old and the new that can be established and there are some companies that I think should take these lessons to heart.
The three Kickstarter campaigns we’re talking about have been hugely successful. Two of them are still currently active so we can’t get a gauge on just how successful they’re going to be in terms of funding. The other one, Mighty No. 9, according to its Kickstarter page finished its initial funding round with $3.85 million in funding from 67,226 backers. After the Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter launched they made their goal of $270,000 in 40 minutes. They are, at this moment, sitting at over $2.3 million. Igarashi’s Kickstarter for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night made its goal of $500,000 in just less than four hours. In the first 24 hours they raised over $1 million.
Continue reading Recent Kickstarters and What We Can Learn From Them
Man, the saga behind Konami and Silent Hills continues to grow. A couple of weeks ago it was announced that the company was going to be removing P.T., the playable teaser for their upcoming Silent Hills game, from the Playstation Network. That happened last week on April 29th. It was not available for new downloads, but it was still available for people who had previously downloaded it and may want to download it again.
If you didn’t download the game to your system then you are now completely out of luck.
has not only been removed from PSN for new downloads it’s also no longer available to be redownloaded by people who had “purchased” the game previously.
I checked my PS4 earlier and that is the case. I had gone online and attached the game to my account so that in the future should I ever want to download it I would be able to. When I went to my library it had been completely removed. A search of PSN confirmed it’s no longer available there as well.
This hasn’t happened often, if at all before. Any time a game had been removed from the digital stores it was still available to download for people who had purchased a license. This is a disturbing sign of things that could come in the future with games being completely de-listed and not available for people who’d legitimately purchased a game.
Over the past month or so, a lot has been going on at Konami. Hideo Kojima has been removed from everything Metal Gear, Kojima Productions appears to be moving away from Konami, and the new Silent Hill has been officially cancelled. It doesn’t end there though. Apparently Konami delisted itself from the New York Stock Exchange. The reason for this decision is because 99.71 percent of Konami’s stock traded over the past year was done in London and Japan and it costs a minimum of five million dollars a year for U.S. regulatory compliance. Still the timing seems very strange.
In other Konami news, apparently Wayforward wasn’t the only company to pitch a Silent Hill game for the DS. According to Renegade Kid’s Jools Watsham, The Ward was pitched to Konami as a Silent Hill game back in 2007. Watsham spoke with IGN about how this went down at GDC 2007:
Our goal was always to release The Ward as an original game, but we were also open to the idea of turning it into a licensed horror game and approached Konami to see if they wanted to work together to mold it into a Silent Hill game for the Nintendo DS. They were kind enough to meet with us, but the meeting only lasted a few minutes and ended with their [representative] saying they wouldn’t let a team like us handle the Silent Hill license.
It’s a shame that Konami turned down so many Silent Hill pitches for DS. It’s also a shame we’ve had the most recent Silent Hill game cancelled as well. It’s a shame that all of this stuff is happening at Konami. Who knows what will happen now. I guess only time will tell what happens with Konami.
It looks like the hugely popular “playable teaser”, P.T., for Silent Hills will have to remain just that, a playable teaser. The game appears to be dead. After word got out about the demo being removed from PSN as of Wednesday people began speculating about the fate of Konami’s survival horror franchise.
During a talk with audience members at an event for the San Francisco Film Society Guillermo del Toro told people that his collaboration with Kojima is “no longer a going concern”. That in and of itself is not a big concern as multiple people leave projects in production all the time. Further evidence of the game’s cancellation, though, came from actor Norman Reedus. He sent out a tweet saying,
“super bummed about this was really looking forward to it. Hopefully it’ll come back around. Sorry everyone.”
You now have two people involved with the project talking about its cancellation. Konami themselves haven’t talked about the game. They dodged questions about the project when asked, but said that the Silent Hill franchise would continue.
P.T. was so well received by fans that it’s strange Konami would cancel the project. Their relationship with Kojima has been strained in recent months with the designer stating he would be leaving the company after the release of Metal Gear Solid V. Back when that was first announced, rumor and speculation about the fate of P.T. began. It looks like ultimately the game will never see the light of day.
Update: Since this article was posted Konami has confirmed, via Kotaku that Silent Hills has, in fact, officially been cancelled.
Something strange is going on at Konami. Reports are coming in of a power struggle and fallout between Kojima Productions and Konami. The senior staff at Kojima Productions has restricted access to corporate internet, emails, and phones.
We also won’t be seeing very much of the senior staff from Kojima Productions in Metal Gear Solid V promotions. This will also include Mr. Hideo Kojima himself.
Continue reading Rift Going On At Konami
With Ethan around we decided to play one of his most adored franchises. However, in typical Go Round fashion, we pick the worst game in the series. Can you even consider Snake’s Revenge for the NES part of the Metal Gear series? Maybe not and you will soon see why. This game seems pretty bad but don’t just take my word for it… reading raaaaaainboooooow.