Konami was once one of the biggest and most critically beloved company in gaming. With incredible franchises like Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill and Castlevania, their logo on a box generally meant quality. In recent years, however, the company has largely retreated from mainstream video games. While they still release a smaller game or collection here and there, most of their gaming output is mobile titles, gambling and sports. And hey, you can’t blame them, because they seem to be doing more than fine financially. But that could be changing soon, though maybe not to the degree many want.
Recently, the company surprised everyone by publishing Skelattack, an indie title from California studio Ukuza. It was an unprompted event and one that left most of us surprised. Richard Jones, Senior European Brand and Business Development Manager of Konami, explained to GamesIndustry this was part of a new publishing program on part of the company to publish more titles that are targeted to western audiences. It’s part of a broader effort to diversify their portfolio once again.
“The drive is towards publishing more titles from Western studios,” Jones said. “So the focus for the European team is domestic audiences. Obviously everyone knows Konami, we have studios and teams in Japan, we have many well-known, well loved IPs. They’re all being managed and looked after by our studios in Japan, and what we’re looking for is complementary titles, to build the portfolio with things that perhaps [are] new to Konami — Western titles for Western audiences.”
It’s interesting for sure. Whether or not this new push is going to translate to larger titles, or if it will stick with more smaller scaled affairs such as Skelattack, remains to be seen. Last year, they did comment to say they weren’t done with “High-End Console Games” despite popular belief. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes of this.