"At least Konami, unlike so many other game publishers, has the honesty to just straight up make gambling."— Jim Sterling
Konami Holdings Corporation, commonly called Konami (also mockingly called "Konmai", a term originating from a typo in GuitarFreaks 8th Mix and Drummania 7th Mix, which is often used when referring to bugs and mistakes in their games; and "Komoney" by fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise) is a Japanese entertainment company. While it develops and publishes media of various mediums (such as trading cards, anime, and even casinos and fitness clubs), they are most well-known for their video games.
Since 2014, Konami has shifted its focus from video game development into gambling business - which they are familiar with before their entrance into the gaming industry in the late 80s - although they are still sporadically releasing some games as well.
Why They Became Komoney
NOTE: The main problem with Konami today is that they clearly aren't interested in gaming anymore and shifted their focus to other, "fewer costs, more profit" businesses. This is what caused all the problems mentioned in the following list:
- They cancelled many highly anticipated titles.
- After Silent Hills was cancelled, tensions between Konami and Hideo Kojima rose. While what specifically happened between them hasn't been said publicly, but it lead to them parting ways.
- While they haven't completely abandoned console and PC gaming, they've shifted their focus towards mobile games, which are inferior to the former for no reason other than that they're cheaper to produce and make lots of money.
- In an effort to make gambling legal in Japan, they turned their most beloved franchises into pachinko machines after the titles failed to meet their critical and commercial expectations. For example, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 was met with mixed reviews and middling sales, and since then, with the exception of pachinko machines, a Netflix original animated series, and with the series being represented in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Konami has barely done anything with Castlevania.
- Also, ever since Silent Hills was cancelled, the Silent Hill franchise went dormant for a while until they revealed a Silent Hill-themed pachinko machine. They later announced two new Silent Hill games, with one being an episodic style game while the other is a reboot of the franchise.
- Something similar happened with Ganbare Goemon (known as Mystical Ninja outside of Japan), which, aside from two pachinko machines, hasn't had a proper entry since Ganbare Goemon: Tōkai Dōchū Ōedo Tengu ri Kaeshi no Maki, which was released for the Nintendo DS back in 2005.
- Even when they do make console games, they have been low-effort, hollow, mostly overpriced ones trying to sell on name recognition alone, not passionately crafted products, the most recent examples, of course, being Metal Gear Survive and Contra: Rogue Corps.
- They treat their employees in abysmal ways. For example, when Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia's sales were poor, Konami demoted Koji Igarashi to a desk job.
- They weren't willing to give Hideo Kojima credit for his work to the point where they removed his name and the Kojima Productions logo from the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain box art, banned him from winning at the Game Awards 2015 ceremony, and came to pretend he never worked there in the first place. In other words, they treated Hideo Kojima, one of the most important people in video games, like chopped liver. This is narcissism at its finest.
- Many of their mobile games don't have any hacking protection. Unlike other online mobile games, which won't let you connect to their servers using hacked APKs, "hacked" APKs of Konami games can be played online without any negative repercussions.
- They dissolved Hudson Soft in 2012 and have done absolutely nothing with their franchises ever since (except for Bomberman).
- They are often prone to copyright claiming videos about their games, even if it's just an unboxing video. The most infamous case of copyright infringement abuse from them is the time when they gave a copyright strike to Super Bunnyhop.
- They don't seem to listen to criticism, regardless of how constructive it is.
- They only care about money now, and it is the reason they've turned their most beloved franchises into pachinko machines and a lot of their games now suffer from microtransactions like Metal Gear Survive.
- In Metal Gear Survive, you either grind a lot or pay $10 in order to create a new save file.
- Similar to Capcom, they shut down some of their subsidiaries, such as Team Silent to make room for Western developers.
- They ruined their own franchises like Silent Hill (with the cancellation of Silent Hills), Castlevania (with Lords of Shadow 2), Metal Gear (with Survive), and Contra (with Rogue Corps).
- They ignored their other franchises such as, Gradius, Ganbare Goemon, Lethal Enforcers, Twin Bee, AirForce Delta, and Parodius and many others. Most of the IPs mentioned here are dead (outside of pachinko machines).
- Speaking of Parodius it didn't get an actual new game outside of updated rereleases since 1997
- They royally screwed up the beloved SAW franchise with the releases of Saw and SAW II: Flesh & Blood.
- They don't even know how to publish good games based on television shows, as disastrous games such as Ben 10 Alien Force: The Rise of Hex prove.
- They did a terrible job at promoting Blades of Time, as they only decided to announce the game a whopping three days after it came out! This unsurprisingly caused the game to sell extremely poorly.
- They have taken stances against fan games based on their properties, just like Nintendo did. For example:
- They forced the developers of Shadow Moses, an Unreal Engine 4 remake of Metal Gear Solid, to cancel their game.
- They did the same thing with a remake of the first Castlevania game.
- Hygiene standards at their official Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments were so poor and bad that they actually had to institute a mandatory hygiene clause in their rule books and penalize smelly players and players wearing dirty clothes.
- They increased the payments in some of the BEMANI arcade games, as well as locking certain features in some of these games, such as Extra Stages and some options in Dance Dance Revolution games now requiring additional credits to access.
- They gave the Wii U little to no support whatsoever, as all they did was just rereleasing TurboGrafx-16 titles on the Virtual Console, including some of the ones that Hudson Soft made, as they didn't even port any of their original games from the 8th Gen on that system, or didn't even make a game for the console in general, and also did not even release of some of their older games on the Virtual Console, and even made the excuse to say that the install base for the Wii U is too small for the PES series, yet some of the games in that series are released on the XBOX One, which has a smaller install base than the Wii U ever did, which shows that Konami gave little to no respect for the console whatsoever, which is shameful since they are known to have a good relationship with Nintendo and many of their most iconic games from the 80s & 90s were released on both the NES and SNES, and some of them didn't get rereleased on the Virtual Console at all, which is a shame. This is even more heart breaking when you realise that they're support towards many of Nintendo's previous consoles was massive, so seeing that they wouldn't give support towards their next console is very devastating.
- In fact, only 7 games from their original library got rereleased on the Wii U, which were Parodius, Space Manbow, Super Castlevania IV, Contra III: The Alien Wars, Gradius, The Legend of the Mystical Ninja and Penguin Adventure, and 2 of them are rather obscure and not known by most people in the modern age.
- Heck, even Capcom gave more support to the console than Konami, since they did support a few of their games on the system and rerelease a lot more of their older games on the Virtual Console that weren't mostly Turbografx-16 titles, unlike Konami.
- Thankfully, they began coming back to support Nintendo Consoles again, by releasing titles on the Switch, and even revive the Bomberman franchise with Super Bomberman R as a launch title for the console when it first came out. In fact, their support for the Switch is a bit of a step up from what they did on the Wii U, since unlike what they did on that console, they at least original games for the Switch and even rereleased some of their older titles on the Nintendo Eshop too, and also port some games on the Switch too, however the amount of games they released for the Switch is rather limited when to what they released on their consoles before the Wii U, and some of their original games from the console have recently been ported to other consoles such as Super Bomberman R, which was ported to both the PS4 and XBOX One, and they even cancelled an installment of the Track & Field franchise called Hyper Sports R..
- Speaking of BEMANI, they did a horrible job in localizing Pop'n Music for western audiences.
- They made Beat'n Groovy which was a really bad rip-off of the beloved game and failed.
- Then they made a complete reboot of Pop'n Music for the Nintendo Wii that completely changes the gameplay of the original series and also failed.
- Because of that, they never bothered to make another Pop'n Music game for North America again after the failure of those two games.
- They stopped caring about Frogger, their own franchise since 1981 after the reboots didn't sell well.
- After the end of content updates for eFootball PES 2021 Season Update, Konami revealed eFootball 2022, which is basically a free-to-play instalment in the PES series. However, to make a profit off of it, they will be selling offline modes such as Career Mode as DLC and will have a Match Pass system (which is literally a copy off of Fortnite's battle pass!). This revelation angered fans as Konami is now starting to turn PES into a pay-to-win mess, just like one other gamemode....
- Konami used to be good and has a rich history of many top-quality games that can still be enjoyed.
- Despite what they did with Kojima, he thanked them because they're the reason for who he is today.
- To celebrate their 50th anniversary, they released three collections: Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection, Castlevania Anniversary Collection & Contra Anniversary Collection for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows. The latter two even include a bonus book explaining some facts about the games.
- They still make great music arcade games under the BEMANI brand. In fact, it can be argued that BEMANI is keeping the little respect left for Konami alive today.
- Unlike Rockstar Games, they still put their games on Nintendo consoles also, which shows they and Nintendo have a better relationship than them.