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Konami Potentially Shifting Focus To Mobile Gaming

A recent interview with Konami’s CEO reveals that the publishing giant may forego console releases, as mobile platforms may become their future primary outlet.

Japanese publisher and developer Konami has been restructuring itself since late 2014. While the company remains tight-lipped about its new direction, several details have leaked from anonymous employees, backed by cryptic statements from Konami itself; Konami is condensing and restructuring its internal properties with the intent of becoming a centralized, headquarters-based company.

Iconic development studio Kojima Productions (Metal Gear [Solid], Zone of the Enders, Policenauts, Snatcher) is presumed to be a casualty of this, as the Los Angeles studio was renamed to “Konami Los Angeles Studio”; various inside sources claim the publisher reduced Kojima Productions to contracted positions, with the team rumored to leave after the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Earlier this month, Konami confirmed that Silent Hills– the Silent Hill game from Hideo Kojima, Guillermo Del Toro and Norman Reedus- was officially cancelled, but the series would continue in the future.

A new interview between Konami CEO Hideki Hayakawa and Nikkei Trendy Net shed more light on Konami’s plans for the future. While the interview is entirely in Japanese, a translation of Jin115’s summary was provided by NeoGAF user “HGH”. According to HGH’s translation, Hayakawa sees mobile platforms as being “where the future of gaming lies”. While smartphone and tablet gaming may not be positively received by many, due to the sheer volume of titles including microtransactions and “paid extra time”, the mobile gaming market is incredibly popular with Japanese audiences. Hayakawa addresses the idea of microtransactions, stating that the success of the latest “Power Pro” (Pawapuro Sakusakusesu) baseball game and Winning Eleven motivates the publisher to transfer more franchises onto mobile platforms; the popularity of these titles leads Hayakawa to believe that “even people who buy physical games are motivated to buy the extra content”.

It has not been confirmed whether or not Konami will veer its entire focus towards towards mobile gaming, as the company still releases arcade titles and pachinko slot-machine adaptations of their older franchises. However, HGH’s interview translation states that Konami “will pursue mobile games aggressively”, with their new “main platform” to be mobile devices.

Konami currently has only one console release scheduled for this year- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Sources: Nikki Trendy Net, Jin115, NeoGAF
Image courtesy of Konami

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