Konami has to be in what can be considered the worst shape ever for a gaming company and let’s be real, gaming companies are pretty much acting like scumbags right about now. However, none have earned the definition of being a scumbag more than Konami has over the last 3 months.
Dateline: March 19th, 2015
Konami had reportedly removed Hideo Kojima’s name from all promotional items for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, surrounding rumors of Kojima’s departure from Konami. As the firestorm started on the social media sites and gaming forums, Konami simply had this to say:
“As we have already announced, we are shifting our production structure to a headquarters-controlled system, in order to establish a steadfast operating base capable of responding to the rapid market changes that surround our digital entertainment business. Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima), will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.”
To me, this didn’t seem too promising, as there was corporate cronyism written all over this and most importantly, it didn’t answer any questions. Fast forward to April 27th where we find ourselves in “shock,” and I use quotes because most of the reaction to the first bit of news was apathetic. Konami had delisted itself from the New York Stock Exchange and that Silent Hills was cancelled, with the latter coming through via Guillermo Del Toro’s words at the San Francisco International Film Festival (Konami would later that day confirm the cancellation, as well as pull P.T. off of the PlayStation Store and its servers, preventing anyone from even accessing the game…ever.)
Not cool, Konami. Not cool.
Let’s roll over to Mother’s Day weekend, where Konami pressured eBay into taking down auctions for PlayStation 4 consoles with P.T. installed, which was the only LEGAL way to acquire the game.
As Konami continues to shoot themselves in the foot, they now only have one game listed for release in 2015, and no, guys, it’s not Yu-Gi-Oh! Tag Force 7. It’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. While that’s all well and good for MGS fans, and Konami started on a financial upswing, their moral bottom really began to fall out from under them. Why, you ask? It’s simple.
YouTuber Super BunnyHop posted an editorial video named Kojima vs Konami: An Investigation, was taken down by YouTube for an apparent DMCA violation, despite:
- Twenty-seven seconds of footage was used in a near 10 minute video;
- No real damaging information was presented in the video, simply because the source was anonymous; and
- YouTube pretty much crapped on Konami, requesting an explanation for the claim.
So the video was taken down and everyone flew into a freaking tizzy (I can’t call it a b*tch fit because the tizzy was justified by Konami’s actions.) Soon, YouTube reversed the claim and allowed for the video to remain on the site, prompting a follow-up video that was posted today.
What does all of this have to do with me telling Konami to “stay free?”
A lot. For a company that was widely regarded as a herald for gaming, with games such as Castlevania, Metal Gear, Contra, Suikoden, Pro Evolution Soccer, beatmania, Dance Dance Revolution and the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, this apparent fall from grace has seemed to mess with something in their formula, or perhaps the success of the Metal Gear series has allowed them to rest on their laurels, much to the dismay of gamers and fans everywhere.
While this isn’t a problem exclusive to Konami, they seem to be, as the kids say, doing too much right now. The conspiracy theories that are flying because of their actions are beginning to look like near-absolute truths and it’s not looking too good.
However, the abandonment of their franchises that people remember them for, such as Contra and Castlevania and Dance Dance Revolution (at least in the United States,) have left an extremely sour taste in the gaming world’s mouth and they are ready to spit out the sour food that Konami is feeding them.
Konami, the reason I say “stay free,” is simply because the problems that you put yourself in, you can easily take yourselves out of. This headquarters-controlled system that seems to be coming our way, and your seemingly reactionary move to mobile gaming isn’t good for gamers who have grown up with the company. The actions of your company as of late have been deplorable to say the least.
Until the act gets together, Konami must indeed stay free.
– Clinton Bowman
Senior Editor, The Outerhaven
The definition of “free,” as told by the FGC (Fighting Game Community)