A new report from Eurogamer is confirming what everyone has been anticipating: Konami, once one of the greatest video game studios on the planet (and still could be if they tried), is officially throwing in the towel on AAA game development, reverting their business to its original purpose: Japanese pachinko machines.
As one of the most popular developers in video gaming’s formative years, Konami held a special place in a lot of gamers’ hearts and still owns a number of recognizable franchises that most other game companies would kill for: Metal Gear, Contra, Castlevania, Silent Hill, Bomberman, Adventure Island (NES) and Goemon (N64). It’s anticipated that these properties will either remain stagnant for the forseeable future, or be used for pachinko decorations.
The news comes as no shock because it’s the cherry on the manure sundae that Konami has prepared over the past year. It’s turned its corporate HQ into a brutal boot camp, alienated star developers and forced some of them to quit. The latest departure, reported in the same post as this news, is technology director Julien Merceron, reported to be leaving for the same reasons other ex-workers have cited.
Incidentally, this has been Konami’s stock for the past five days:
Normally, when a gigantic, critically acclaimed, universally beloved game like Metal Gear Solid V is released, stocks go up. But these are special circumstances.
Henceforth, FES Soccer will be the only console game Konami continues to produce. Konami previously claimed it would be making AAA Metal Gear games without Kojima, but it looks less likely today.