Square Enix and Capcom emerge as the big losers of the year.
What gamers want is often highly disconnected from the real world. Nowhere is this more evident than when you consider that Konami currently the entire gaming industry’s (and then some) whipping boy thanks to their treatment of auteur game director Hideo Kojima, as well as their treatment of their classic franchises like Silent Hill, Metal Gear, Castlevania, and Contra, ended up with the most gains on the Japanese stock market out of all game companies in 2016.
Konami ended 2016 with a new gain of 66.2% to their share value, far and away ahead of everyone else in the country. Konami’s gains are attributed to their incredible growth and popularity, which owes itself to their hugely successful pachinko and health and fitness businesses. Sega was up next, with a net gain of 55%- Sega’s owes itself to Sega’s successful merchandizing business, their highly successful mobile and PC games, as well as the successful launch of console games in the last year, including Yakuza 0 and Persona 5. Nintendo, in spite of the turbulence their stock price saw over the year, ended up with net gains of 48%- presumably, the 3DS’s resurgence, as well as confidence in Nintendo’s future initiatives such as their mobile games, their theme parks and movie deals, and of course, the Switch, have led to increased confidence in their prospects.
On the bottom of the ladder are Square Enix, with just a 1.7% gain, in spite of several successful launches like Final Fantasy 15 (presumably, the failure of their smaller launches like Dragon Quest Builders, Star Ocean 5, and World of Final Fantasy contributes to this, as well as their scattershot mobile game strategy), and Capcom, who actually lost 6% of their share value in 2016; presumably, the failure of big launches like Street Fighter 5 has to do with that.
Going into 2017, with several major launches planned from all of these companies, it will be fascinating to see how they all fare on the Japanese stock market. Hopefully, they all do well, and we can see the Japanese games industry rebounding.