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 Konami Issues Apology, Explains ‘Mobile First’ Future

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PostSubject: Konami Issues Apology, Explains ‘Mobile First’ Future   Fri May 29, 2015 10:09 am

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/05/29/silent-hills-publisher-konami-issues-apology-explains-mobile-first-future?utm_source=IGN%20hub%20page&utm_medium=IGN%20(front%20page)&utm_content=3&utm_campaign=Blogroll


Recent disruption within Konami has left many important questions about the Japanese publisher’s future unanswered before today, but a lengthy explanation has shed light on the future of Silent Hill, Metal Gear, and Konami’s “Mobile First” future. The company has also issued an apology for the commotion following these controversies.

In a statement to IGN, a Konami representative said “We are aware that the conjecture surrounding our recent changes has prompted a great deal of anxiety, for which we apologise.”

Konami’s statement continued to explain that, in addition to mobile gaming, “the Metal Gear and Silent Hill series, both beloved by countless fans around the globe, are also extremely important to Konami. We have nurtured them with care over many years since their inception, and will continue to produce products for both franchises, but we are not currently at a stage where we can announce the path these future titles will take.”

Regarding the more immediate future, Konami President and Representative Director Hideki Hayakawa explained to Nikkei that “Konami’s idea of Mobile First is not at all to focus purely on mobile games.”

“Our aim is to continue to build up a comprehensive portfolio of console, arcade, and card game titles for each IP while also making the best possible use of the mobile devices that accompany our customers in their daily life, thus expanding the limits of entertainment and appealing to more and more customers,” Hayakawa said.

Indeed, Konami is focusing on mobile, and it’s because the publisher is focusing on its own soil first and foremost.

“Japan is our primary market for mobile content,” said Hayakawa. He cited Japan as a smartphone leader, with approximately 50% market saturation – more than China and the United States. Hayakawa also explained that “the Japanese market is populated with consumers who are extremely particular and discerning, and it is this environment that has helped us polish game design quality to such a high level.”

This plays into Konami’s “centralized production division system,” which is a result of its company-wide reorganization that took place in March 2015. This is presently how Hideo Kojima and The Phantom Pain team operate at Konami. If Konami’s previous development structure was siloed, with individual teams operating on their own, now Konami has all teams “under one roof.”

“Until now, in addition to game development duties, our creators were handling a wide range of responsibilities including managerial roles,” Hayakawa said. This became incredibly complicated, and didn’t work with Konami’s apparent unification of teams, so “we have changed our approach to instead have managerial staff thoroughly focus on strategy and how their individual skills can be best applied, with that strategy then being executed together with the creative staff.”

The strength of Konami as a company, Hayakwa said, is in its “power to create groundbreaking IPs, and our power to refine them into progressively better products.” This “has been the driving force behind our business. However, whereas platforms to date were very limited, we now need to split our approaches between console, arcade, card, and mobile games to best suit the needs of the customer.”

Konami’s statement concluded, “Konami will continue to embrace the challenge of creating entertainment content via different platforms; across not only mobile platforms, but for home consoles, arcade units, and cards, to meet the changing needs of the times. Your support for our current endeavours, and your spurring us on to greater heights, are as always deeply appreciated.”
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