Depending on who you talk to – or what corner of the Internet you pay most attention to – it’s been a rough few weeks for Konami. The Japanese juggernaut has consistently found its name up in lights for all the wrong reasons following the alleged fallout with revered Metal Gear developer Hideo Kojima, followed by the disheartening cancellation of in-development horror reboot Silent Hills.
It’s a series of unfortunate events that has led ardent fans to question the future of this once-bulletproof company, though according to a translated interview with Konami Company President Hideki Hayakawa, the publisher’s immediate plans will revolve around mobile platforms as it looks to “aggressively pursue” the burgeoning platform.
“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. With multiplatform games, there’s really no point in dividing the market into categories anymore. Mobiles will take on the new role of linking the general public to the gaming world.”
Granted, some of the finer details may have been lost in translation, but the message remains crystal clear. Aside from Metal Gear Solid and Pro Evolution Soccer, Konami doesn’t have many active triple-A franchises – no thanks to the underwhelming Castlevania reboots – so it makes sense from a business standpoint for the publisher to double down on a platform it considers more profitable.
Besides, it’s long been known that the hardware market in Japan is a fraction of what it used to be, hence the reason the Nintendo 3DS – and, to a lesser extent, the PlayStation Vita – continue to perform overly well as consumers favor portable experiences over those traditionally found in the living room.
And mobile gaming is playing a big part in the transition not just in Japan, but all across the world. Even still, for long-time fans of Konami, the company’s purported blueprint for the future will be a difficult pill to swallow.