With the recent furore surrounding the seemingly imminent departure of Hideo Kojima and the company itself, speculation has been rife about the future of Konami. As one of gaming’s great publishers, the Japanese company has a prestigious history and a dedicated fanbase to match; a fanbase that voiced its concern when reports suggested Konami was to ditch consoles in favor of mobile. As it turns out though, that’s simply not the case.
In an translated interview with VG247, the publisher’s president Hideki Hayakawa opened up about those rumors in question and how the company as a whole remains committed to console gaming.
“We often hear the term ‘mobile first,’ and I want to specify that Konami’s idea of mobile first is not at all to focus purely on mobile games. Our aim is to continue to build up a comprehensive portfolio of console, arcade, and card game titles for each IP while also making the best possible use of the mobile devices that accompany our customers in their daily life.”
Thankfully, it looks to be the case that some of Konami’s immediate goals were somewhat lost in translation, which led to many gamers beginning to fear the worst. Yes, the company will increase its presence in the mobile space, but not at the expense of consoles. The future of Pro Evolution Soccer and Metal Gear Solid – Konami’s two flagships – are relatively safe. For now.
That’s not all Hayakawa addressed, though, as further in the interview the executive touched upon the creative shift internally. And while he didn’t mention Kojima by name, it’s evident that the esteemed developer has been at the forefront of these changes.
“We faced difficulties in taking advantage of market shifts in areas such as licensing, with expansion of IPs outside of the games themselves, and also in leveraging IPs between different devices such as from consoles to the mobile platform.
“Based on these lessons, we have changed our approach to instead have managerial staff thoroughly focus on strategy and how their individual skills can be best applied, with that strategy then being executed together with the creative staff.”
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is very much acting as Konami‘s next big thing, with the publisher’s anticipated sequel due in September, quickly followed by a new installment in Pro Evolution Soccer. Beyond that, how do you feel about the future of the company?