Not surprising at all.
Dave Cox, who was the producer of the fantastic Castlevania Lords of the Shadow has finally revealed why he left Konami after the somewhat disappointing sequel. The reasoning isn’t complicated to be honest. He left because Konami had no vision back then (something that also applies in this age given how they fired Hideo Kojima).
“Konami decided… let’s just say it wanted to go in a different direction in terms of development. It’s one of the reasons why the studio I was heading up closed down. They wanted to move more into mobile. They wanted to do more development in Japan. At that time it was simpler to make a clean break, for me personally and for the studio. I don’t think Konami knew at that time what they wanted to do or where they wanted to go. They still obviously had Metal Gear in development. They still had PES in development. But there wasn’t a vision at the top of the company about where they wanted to go or what they wanted to do,” Cox stated in an interview with EuroGamer.
I honestly don’t find that surprising at all. Konami is a mere shell of its former self. It’s borderline impossible to believe that the publisher of massive IPs like Contra, Metal Gear, Castlevania, Suikoden, Silent Hill and many more will lose its way only in matter of years.
What is more disappointing is that MercurySteam were actually working on the concept of a new Contra game but unfortunately that idea was scrapped. “We talked to MercurySteam about that, and we did have early discussions about Contra. But it just wasn’t to be. The planets weren’t aligned, essentially. That was, essentially, it. But also the guys at MercurySteam didn’t want to move on with that relationship as well. So it was mutually agreed that we wouldn’t move forward with it. We had discussions about it, absolutely. And there were concepts, and a basic idea was drawn up. But that’s as far as it got, sadly,” he revealed.
Absolutely none of this surprises me. I guess I will wait for the moment when Konami will genuinely surprise its fans with the revival of all its AAA game franchises, but given the company’s commitment to mobile games, Pachinko, and not to mention putting next to no effort in Metal Gear Survive, it seems like a distant dream.