Konami, what has happened to you? Back in the day you could pick up a title and know it’d be good based off that iconic old Konami logo. How times change though as Konami are now apparently ceasing any further console AAA games other than the Pro Evo series.
It’s been well documented that there were issues ongoing at Konami in the lead up to Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain launch.
Well French gaming site GameBlog ran a story yesterday confirming the inside issues Konami staff were facing and EuroGamer ran the story today too translating just exactly what was happening in the Konami offices, and it sounds terrible. From EuroGamer:
Konami has ceased all triple-A console game production on everything but Pro Evolution Soccer and there are currently no plans for a big new Metal Gear game, while worldwide technology directr Julien Merceron has left the company. That’s according to a pair of reports on French site Gameblog. Eurogamer understands both reports to be true.
Gameblog wrote yesterday that Merceron was apparently unhappy with Konami’s transition away from the console market towards mobile games.
Beyond Metal Gear Online – the separate online component to Metal Gear Solid 5 that is currently being finished – and Pro Evolution Soccer 2016, Konami has a blank triple-A slate. It does however have the licence to the football tournament Euro 2016, so we’d expect it to make use of that.
Problems at Konami were highlighted earlier in the year when Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima left the company and his Kojima Productions studio was dissolved. He had reportedly fallen out with Konami’s big bosses who refused to bankroll his long and lavish productions any longer. Metal Gear Solid 5 reportedly cost $80m to make. Any new Metal Gear Solid game Konami produces will presumably be made without Kojima involved.
Further problems at Konami were highlighted when respected financial Japanese newspaper Nikkei ran an article about a deteriorating company culture at Konami’s game division. Employees “deemed useless” were apparently given menial and degrading tasks, and communication with outsiders was restricted and lunch breaks monitored.
What comes next for Konami, and for Kojima, we’ll have to wait and see.
So there you have it. What will happen to massive franchises like Metal Gear, Castlevania and Silent Hill?
Hopefully we’ll get more news on Konami after the Metal Gear Online launch. Here’s hoping it’s not the end of such established franchises.