released a summary of Konami's 2012 numbers and they aren't exactly what I was expecting. From the way Konami's U.S. branch has been operating the past year, you could be forgiven for believing that the company might be in extremis. But it looks like the social gaming focus that most Japanese publishers have taken recently, on Gree in particular, has really paid off for Konami. Now, while their overall numbers have risen, their packaged games have mostly gone down in sales.
It's tempting to believe this is all Konami of America's doing, what with their amazing inability to tell whether their games are even on sale, but taking a deeper look, their numbers appear to be down across the board. The U.S. certainly took a bigger hit this past year, but Japan and Europe are both down as well. It seems like Konami has virtually nothing of interest going on packaged games beyond Metal Gear
, but with Gree helping them ride so high in Japan, which is incidentally their lead territory for the past year, there's really no reason for them to change the direction they're going. I mean, why should Konami want to keep beating a dead horse
with the Silent Hill
franchise when they could be moving that money somewhere more productive, like their social games or their card games?
This recent business with the threatened government regulations on Gree and DeNa certainly doesn't look very good, but it's hard to imagine all of that momentum toward social gaming in Japan will be broken entirely by all of that. Chances are Konami won't be changing it's direction completely as a result, so what does that mean for the games we like to play? Metal Gear
probably isn't going anywhere. But what about lesser games like NeverDead
and Rumble Roses
even? I would certainly be relieved to see them finally stop flogging my nostalgic memories of Silent Hill
, but they did also occasionally sell some cool games that weren't made by Hideo Kojima as well. It's not like Ubisoft was going to pick up No More Heroes
a third time, and it was awful nice
of them to pick up Skull Girls
, but as it stands, it seems like Konami would only want to continue neglecting the consoles further.
probably aren't going anywhere soon, but what are they going to have Nojiri do now that he's done working on NeverDead
? Are they going to send him back to Kojima Productions, or put him to work on mobile games? What do they even have Igarashi doing any more anyway? I know Leedmees
didn't take that much time to work on. It really does seem like most of the talent has already been run off
or otherwise consolidated into Kojima Productions, and it would be a real shame to see Konami's more creative output continue disappearing under that ever-widening malaise of social gaming. But judging from the looks of these numbers, that's probably exactly what's going to happen.