Konami Struggles Through 2013

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Konami Struggles Through 2013

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - Jack the Ripper Trailer 9x4

Sales are down across the board, but Konami's Pachinko machine and videogame businesses have been hit the hardest.

Critically, it hasn't been a good year for Konami. The publisher has struggled to remain relevant in a world where several of its big franchises no longer possess the allure they once enjoyed. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 did alright, as did Platinum Games' excellent Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, despite having a title that makes editors wince. But neither game made a big enough dent in the company's shortfall - overall sales are down 15% (to around $2.27 billion) and profits have dropped by 42.8% to 13.2 billion ($130 million). Metal Gear Rising, Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 and Professional Baseball Spirits 2013 were all named solid contributors to the company's fourth quarter numbers.

While most of the blame falls to Konami's ailing pachinko and core gaming businesses, the publisher's mobile and social interests seem to have plateaued. In the last quarter, one million people signed up for Konami's social games service, a far sight from the eight million that joined in the quarter before it. Normally, Konami likes to crow about its social gaming numbers during investor meets, usually in very specific terms. This quarter, the company has described its social revenues as "stable." Stable, in this context, can probably safely be taken to mean, "not awesome."

How is Konami looking to fight this slump? With optimism, of course. The publisher predicts revenues will rise by nearly 3 percent during the next fiscal year, while net profits are expected to rise by 15%. The possible arrival of two games with "Metal Gear Solid" on the cover might just help there.

Source: Konami

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This is simple. Have a Japanese developer with a love for the franchise make a proper Silent Hill game. Do more with Castlevania, especially on handhelds where overhead is low and there's a rabid fanbase. Don't rely on the social/mobile market, those people move to fads and that money can't be relied on as being steady. We got a Zone of the Enders HD collection, so where's the third one on a next-gen engine? That would be badass. I heard that Ni no Kuni did quite well, how about using that Suikoden franchise that people pay 100+ on Ebay for? These people make the dumbest decisions, without even mentioning that Rock Revolution thing.

I only want one thing from Konami these days. A remake or sequel of this.

image

Ok, that was a lie, Metal Gear Solid V looks good and another Enders title wouldn't hurt. Point is, they have plenty of great IPs that they do nothing with.

Give me a way to get the Twin Snakes, Konami, and I will be all over that. If you need to keep it Nintendo exclusive, I will gladly download it on the eShop.

Are any of the big Japanese publisher's doing well? because Konami, Capcom, Sega-Sammy and Square-enix are not.

With Optimism and not much else, certainly not any actual effort.

I think I know why Konami's losing money. Well, I know because of Jim Sterling.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5524-Konami

Know shit they're not doing so hot.

x-Tomfoolery-x:
I only want one thing from Konami these days. A remake or sequel of this.

image

Ok, that was a lie, Metal Gear Solid V looks good and another Enders title wouldn't hurt. Point is, they have plenty of great IPs that they do nothing with.

I loved that game just for the fact we could suplex a bug man. Who doesn't want to suplex a bug man?!

....There was a Pro Evo 2013?

DrunkOnEstus:
This is simple. Have a Japanese developer with a love for the franchise make a proper Silent Hill game. Do more with Castlevania, especially on handhelds where overhead is low and there's a rabid fanbase. Don't rely on the social/mobile market, those people move to fads and that money can't be relied on as being steady. We got a Zone of the Enders HD collection, so where's the third one on a next-gen engine? That would be badass. I heard that Ni no Kuni did quite well, how about using that Suikoden franchise that people pay 100+ on Ebay for? These people make the dumbest decisions, without even mentioning that Rock Revolution thing.

how dare you use such sound and well thought out logic in a post about konami that is unheard of.
in all seriousness jim hit the nail on the head awhile back when he said the company probably wont survive. metal gear will forever be my favorite franchise and hopefully if/when they go under another company will pick it up and put it on the right track

Make Suikoden VI. Not a handheld, not a spin off, not a sequel to a previous game (like that one that was a spin off of IV), but true Suikoden VI. There's still plenty of lore left to explore in that world. Out of the Twenty Seven True Runes, I think less than half of them have been named. And while I haven't touched a single one of the spin offs, I would instantly go buy that game. Of course, I don't know if that would be enough to save their company, but I would really like to see the series wrapped up (or at least the story behind who Jeane is) before Konami goes bye bye.

Kumagawa Misogi:
Are any of the big Japanese publisher's doing well? because Konami, Capcom, Sega-Sammy and Square-enix are not.

Well most of those companies have just been making extremely stupid decisions as of late. Not the regular stupid, but the full-on moron stupid. Capcom cancels any game with Megaman it seems (still miffed about Legends 3); Square Enix has taken their time with Versus XIII and because of that KH 3 hasn't been made since Nomura is the one working on Versus XIII; finally Sega just makes bad decisions a lot, but the whole Alien Colonial Marines fiasco really kicked them in the figurative groin.

Really all developers are in this boat at this point and AAA gaming is suffering because of it. I remember seeing someone post about how new and innovative IP creators ask for money from a Kickstarter now instead of big name publishers backing them. The problem is that it seems many companies don't wanna take the chance on developing something different, and so they all try to mimic the formula that the COD games seem to have and when their games don't sell as well then they throw a hissy fit.

The way that Konami, and all the other companies, can fix this is simple. First, they need to start using some of their other IPs that appear to be collecting dust; they need to stop making unrealistic predictions on how your game will sell as much as a COD game in a month; finally they need stop trying to take every bit of money that is in their customers wallets so that they can play the full game they paid their money for, and this is because if you lose consumer support then you're in trouble.

And thus concludes my little rant. ^.^
But before I go, before Capcom gets my money ever again they must make Megaman Legends 3 and apologize for blaming the games cancellation on the fans. What, most companies wouldn't do what I listed that they could do, can't I make unrealistic predictions too? XD

So long as you boast on the black at the end of every quarter and don't fall massively short of predictions for the fiscal year than your not doing to bad. You just need to work on improving your base so you don't slip there. But they are down in sales near 43% and thats a massive issue. Panic mode. They really need to rethink some things for their business strategy and come out with something big to turn things around in 2-3 quarters or they're really gona be hurting.

I can see a silver lining here. Maybe Konami then goes the way of THQ and their IP's are auctioned off.

Hey don't judge me, I want Suikoden 6.

Kumagawa Misogi:
Are any of the big Japanese publisher's doing well? because Konami, Capcom, Sega-Sammy and Square-enix are not.

No. But on the other hand, EA and Ubisoft are not doing too well either. The only major publisher actually doing well in earnings is Activision, but that company is still 60% owned by Vivendi, a company that could enter bankruptcy at any time now, and be forced to sell all those shares on the open market.

Also, what Konami needs is clear: Suikoden VI. Maybe it won't outsell Skyrim, but it would serve to revitalize the under-served story-focused RPG market.

The problems Japanese developers/publishers are going through have less to do with the games and more to do with the gambling software/hardware.

Would wager the majority of their shortfall has been the pachinko sector, as that would be their biggest and most consistent earner. Sega is just as heavily invested in the gambling scene too.

It is pretty simple really, they need to revive either an old IP or find a completely new IP. Something that it can market world wide as well.

You kill all your best selling IPs (as in make the sequals so shitty noone will buy the next thing), make no new IPs and then want to be on top?

Maybe I'm missing some numbers, but... doesn't that article say Konami's profits are down, rather than "Konami is losing money?"

...And, um, isn't making less profits still a heckuva lot better than how any number of other video game makers who have warranted finance-related headlines are doing? I mean, when we're looking at Square-Enix, or EA, we're not talking about "lower profits" or "declining revenues"; we're talking about losses, as in "the things this company is doing are costing more than what the company has brought in this year."

Please, tell me if I'm missing something.

They're not investing enough in new IPs. You can't rely on renowned franchises forever. Unless you're Nintendo.

Not even a new Silent Hill by Team Silent would do that well in this day and age.

Terramax:
They're not investing enough in new IPs. You can't rely on renowned franchises forever. Unless you're Nintendo.

Not even a new Silent Hill by Team Silent would do that well in this day and age.

That is where you are wrong. Konami's only meal ticket right now is their existing IP. They don't have the talent, direction, or just good business sense to try a new IP.

Give me suikoden VI right now i'll pre-order that day one

Give me more castlevania that is either retro or metroidvania style (no more god of war crap mechanics) I will buy that day one.

Give me a proper new silent hill game, buy it day one.

Announce a new IP, won't give two craps because I have 0 faith in konami to create anything new.

GAunderrated:

Terramax:
They're not investing enough in new IPs. You can't rely on renowned franchises forever. Unless you're Nintendo.

Not even a new Silent Hill by Team Silent would do that well in this day and age.

That is where you are wrong. Konami's only meal ticket right now is their existing IP. They don't have the talent, direction, or just good business sense to try a new IP.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise you know the members of Konami personally, and are aware as to how creatively talented they all are. My bad.

*What a silly, silly comment, GA*

DrunkOnEstus:
This is simple. Have a Japanese developer with a love for the franchise make a proper Silent Hill game. Do more with Castlevania, especially on handhelds where overhead is low and there's a rabid fanbase. Don't rely on the social/mobile market, those people move to fads and that money can't be relied on as being steady. We got a Zone of the Enders HD collection, so where's the third one on a next-gen engine? That would be badass. I heard that Ni no Kuni did quite well, how about using that Suikoden franchise that people pay 100+ on Ebay for? These people make the dumbest decisions, without even mentioning that Rock Revolution thing.

Plus One Million for you, sir! That's exactly what I was thinking coming in to this article. They have some amazing franchises that they've let just flutter in the wind for half a decade, when they could be basically printing money with them.

Terramax:

GAunderrated:

Terramax:
They're not investing enough in new IPs. You can't rely on renowned franchises forever. Unless you're Nintendo.

Not even a new Silent Hill by Team Silent would do that well in this day and age.

That is where you are wrong. Konami's only meal ticket right now is their existing IP. They don't have the talent, direction, or just good business sense to try a new IP.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise you know the members of Konami personally, and are aware as to how creatively talented they all are. My bad.

*What a silly, silly comment, GA*

Actually, isn't that the whole downside of konami and maybe sega? I'm not hearing anything related to devs from them. Come to think of it, I'm not hearing of any good up and comers coming out of anywhere but maybe the indie scene.

Maybe that's just me though.

Hmm...

Step 1.

Stop alienating your Xbox fanbase. Both the ZOE and Silent Hill collections came out buggy as hell and have been told no patch will be forthcoming. Either do it properly to begin with or pay the fees to put a patch on 360. Don't screw over the customers. After buying the Silent Hill collection and learning of me getting worse treatment than my PS3 cousins, I decided to hold back on getting the any other collections, and I'm glad I did.

Step 2.

For fuck's sake, just re-release Suikoden and Suikoden II. Even on original Playstation. Note the ridiculous prices they have online for these games. There is a demand there for your products. Fill it.

Step 3.

Do Step 2 for anything else you possess. Twin Snakes perhaps. Silent Hill.

Terramax:

GAunderrated:

Terramax:
They're not investing enough in new IPs. You can't rely on renowned franchises forever. Unless you're Nintendo.

Not even a new Silent Hill by Team Silent would do that well in this day and age.

That is where you are wrong. Konami's only meal ticket right now is their existing IP. They don't have the talent, direction, or just good business sense to try a new IP.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise you know the members of Konami personally, and are aware as to how creatively talented they all are. My bad.

*What a silly, silly comment, GA*

I dunno, I think GA just exemplified why most companies attach brand-names to titles even if having its own unique title wouldn't make any difference. New IPs don't sell, because people don't care. So much has been done already that anything they could pull out would just be accused of knocking off other franchises, so why not just build something new in an established franchise?

I am being facetious, but I've seen that point of view rather startlingly often...

OT: As long as their poor business decisions don't impact Metal Gear Solid, I'll be okay. I don't particularly care about anything else Konami does, especially after they apparently botched the Silent Hill HD 'Collection' as badly as they did.

Gregg Johnson:
Plus One Million for you, sir! That's exactly what I was thinking coming in to this article. They have some amazing franchises that they've let just flutter in the wind for half a decade, when they could be basically printing money with them.

Why thank you! Konami just...drives me insane. I used to be a huge Bemani-head, we had a Bemani arcade where I'd spend 6 hours a day after school playing Drummania, DDR, Beatmania, and Pop'n'Music. I also have a $300 Beatmania turntable in my closet, as well as a $200 metal DDR pad. I love the Silent Hill franchise, and Metal Gear Solid 2 is one of my favorite games ever.

Now...I don't know what the hell their deal is. Guitar Hero and Rock Band scared them out of the music scene, and their response was that God awful Rock Revolution thing. Metal Gear Solid 4 didn't really play like MGS, when it was a game. Silent Hill is a parody of what it used to be. The franchises they don't use make them look like they're terrified of money, and that's when they aren't spending years mismanaging them.

They don't know how to treat their customers right, or communicate with them. The Silent Hill HD collection was a joke that should have been refunded or patched more or something. The people they use to speak in public outside of Japan (on the rare occasions that they do) barely understand English and behave like crazy people, and we walk away not knowing what their plans are or what the heck we just looked at. I'm astonished that we even know that a new Metal Gear is coming. I'd say that without Metal Gear or Kojima at this point, they would be a small-scale pachinko and cell phone game maker with like 50 employees.

shrekfan246:

Terramax:

GAunderrated:

That is where you are wrong. Konami's only meal ticket right now is their existing IP. They don't have the talent, direction, or just good business sense to try a new IP.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise you know the members of Konami personally, and are aware as to how creatively talented they all are. My bad.

*What a silly, silly comment, GA*

I dunno, I think GA just exemplified why most companies attach brand-names to titles even if having its own unique title wouldn't make any difference. New IPs don't sell, because people don't care. So much has been done already that anything they could pull out would just be accused of knocking off other franchises, so why not just build something new in an established franchise?

I am being facetious, but I've seen that point of view rather startlingly often...

Problem is you assume my point on Konami is universal for all developers which is wrong to assume that. I loved dishonored for a new IP and bought it on release week. Thing is Bethesda has a mostly positive experience with new IP's and existing titles for me so I had no problem checking out a new IP by them. The same goes for any developer that actually has a good track record.

Konami however, has done nothing the past 6 years to suggest they could not only make a unique IP but that it would be something that gamers would be willing to gamble on for $60. Heck they can't even do an HD collection of their best series correctly. Silent hill HD has massive problems and required a day one patch for an HD collection. Metal Gear Solid is at its 3rd MGS collection to finally get it right.

I actually love indie titles for trying something new because the barrier of entry is around $5-15 which is great for trying new IP's but asking people to invest $60 on an unproven developer is very tough for me to do. Heck recently I just bought Don't Starve and Guns of Icarus Online which are two fantastic indie titles that combined cost me less than half of a new AAA game.

Ryan Hughes:

No. But on the other hand, EA and Ubisoft are not doing too well either. The only major publisher actually doing well in earnings is Activision, but that company is still 60% owned by Vivendi, a company that could enter bankruptcy at any time now, and be forced to sell all those shares on the open market.

Also, what Konami needs is clear: Suikoden VI. Maybe it won't outsell Skyrim, but it would serve to revitalize the under-served story-focused RPG market.

Much as I'd love it to, I know it won't happen.
Suidoken was always a budget JRPG butting heads with giants. As much as I'd love a breath of fresh air for the story-centric RPGs, it won't happen. Not when Konami is in a downward spiral; not in a market plagued by bombast and lowest-common denominator pandering.

It is a shame too; I wanted to see a game set specifically in Harmonia.

shrekfan246:

I dunno, I think GA just exemplified why most companies attach brand-names to titles even if having its own unique title wouldn't make any difference. New IPs don't sell, because people don't care. So much has been done already that anything they could pull out would just be accused of knocking off other franchises, so why not just build something new in an established franchise?

I got that impression from GA too. What I'm saying is, he's wrong, and he was acting like a complete numpty.

All franchises start as new IPs. They were all successful to begin with. Therefore, it stands to reason that new IPs can be just as successful, if not even more, than established ideas. It all comes down to how good the new IP, and how it's marketed.

Games such as Assassin's Creed, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Uncharted, and Gears of War are all new franchises to this generation and all have made big bucks. Where is Konami's hit new IPs?

It's sad, because there is a GIGANTIC (well, kinda big-ish) Facebook group called the Suikoden Revival Movement that's based around trying to get Konami to revive the franchise. They do mass e-mailing to the company, had what amounted to a postcard day as well, but Konami just keeps brushing them off and saying, "Yeah... no." Which is stupid, considering the only thing they're REALLY asking for right now is the release of Suikoden II on the Playstation Store, so Konami can look at the numbers it would be pulling in and see how much interest there would be in a sequel.

Really, that shouldn't be too much work for them, but they still don't want to do it, and it's stupid. Just plain stupid.

As a massive Konami fan, I could think of a few things that should help their market. The big on that's been in my head for almost 2 years now; Dance Dance Revolution. Konami released a current generation DDR with a "decent" selection of songs, there is DLC up but it's lackluster. What I don't get is since DLC is a thing now, Konami could literally release DLC packs of their previous titles, anywhere between 20 to even 30 dollars for an entire games track selection. It's practically backwards compatibility but DLC which adds plenty of life to the current generation game.

Everything else has already been said, especially release Suikoden II on the PSN and watch the dollars roll in. Because it was already a limited pressing game and very few want to pay those ebay prices.

Terramax:

shrekfan246:

I dunno, I think GA just exemplified why most companies attach brand-names to titles even if having its own unique title wouldn't make any difference. New IPs don't sell, because people don't care. So much has been done already that anything they could pull out would just be accused of knocking off other franchises, so why not just build something new in an established franchise?

I got that impression from GA too. What I'm saying is, he's wrong, and he was acting like a complete numpty.

All franchises start as new IPs. They were all successful to begin with. Therefore, it stands to reason that new IPs can be just as successful, if not even more, than established ideas. It all comes down to how good the new IP, and how it's marketed.

Games such as Assassin's Creed, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Uncharted, and Gears of War are all new franchises to this generation and all have made big bucks. Where is Konami's hit new IPs?

When Sega released the Dreamcast, they bolstered it with a library of new IP: Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, Power Stone, REZ, ChuChu Rocket, Headhunter, Skies Of Arcadia... many of them critically acclaimed, and adored to this day. And yet, four years later, Sega decided to shut down their entire hardware division.

If new IP couldn't save Sega, I don't see how they could save Konami. Not unless they had one fell of a unique drawer.

Callate:
Maybe I'm missing some numbers, but... doesn't that article say Konami's profits are down, rather than "Konami is losing money?"

...And, um, isn't making less profits still a heckuva lot better than how any number of other video game makers who have warranted finance-related headlines are doing? I mean, when we're looking at Square-Enix, or EA, we're not talking about "lower profits" or "declining revenues"; we're talking about losses, as in "the things this company is doing are costing more than what the company has brought in this year."

Please, tell me if I'm missing something.

EA posted a profit for the 1st quarter 2013 of $323 million and that's a decline from $400 million last year. The big publisher's rarely have losses but the declines in profit and on hand cash are increasing right when game new game sales are slowing and the publisher's need money for the next gen when development costs will increase. That is not a good situation.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
When Sega released the Dreamcast, they bolstered it with a library of new IP: Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, Power Stone, REZ, ChuChu Rocket, Headhunter, Skies Of Arcadia... many of them critically acclaimed, and adored to this day. And yet, four years later, Sega decided to shut down their entire hardware division.

If new IP couldn't save Sega, I don't see how they could save Konami. Not unless they had one fell of a unique drawer.

Bwahahahaah. Come now, Jeff. I like to think you're smarter than this. You KNOW Sega's downfall was a due to COMPLETELY different circumstances to Konami.

However, on the unlikely chance you're not, the fact is, Sega would've failed not matter what they did. They are an arcade company. Arcade games were no longer in fashion. Publishers like EA and Konami, funnily enough, wouldn't support them, the PS2 was looming, with a DVD drive giving it the 1-2 punch, consumer and retail confidence was at an all-time low, they were in serious debt, and the West and East divisions were not communicating with one another well enough.

And those are just the reasons at the top of my head.

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