Konami is one the oldest and most well-known video game publishers in the industry. But according to Eurogamer and French gaming site Gameblog, the company will no longer be developing big console “AAA” games. Instead the plan is to focus on mobile. Mobile is a great platform, but the demise of some top-notch games is troubling.
There have been a lot of shake-ups within Konami in the past few years. The biggest of these was the exit of renowned developer Hideo Kojima, the inventor of the Metal Gear Solid series of games. Upon his departure, the studio that makes the Metal Gear games, Kojima Productions, was dissolved.
Another of Konami’s big franchises is Silent Hill. Strange activities occurred in relation to the new installment, Silent Hills. A playable trailer for the game was released on the PlayStation Store only to be abruptly removed. The trailer not only left the store at that time, but players who had previously downloaded the trailer found themselves were unable to re-download it. Typically once you download a game, it gets added to your library. If something happens or you change machines, anything in your library can be re-downloaded, but that wasn’t the case with the Silent Hills trailer. Soon after that happened, the game was cancelled. As a result, filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro, who had been working on the game, decided to give up on games altogether.
But the departure of prominent developers and unexpected game cancellations are only part of the story. Japanese newspaper Nikkei wrote a piece earlier this year that reported Konami was a terrible place to work. According to the report, some employees were demoted to menial tasks. Speaking with anyone outside of the company during business hours was banned, and lunch breaks were monitored. Sounds more like a prison to me.