For a while now, Konami has probably been considered one of the worst companies in the gaming industry. Between its treatment of Hideo Kojima with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain development (forcing him to form his own studio and work on Death Stranding); the cancellation (and all out removal) of its P.T./Silent Hills assets; and branding pachinko machines with franchises like Silent Hill (instead of, well, new games), they certainly didn't earn the favor of gamers.
But we could be seeing a change and real soon for that matter. The company sent out a press release today announcing that it has hired a number of new executives, along with forming a new Production Division within its game development system.
Under Chief Operating Officer Hideki Hayakawa, Production Division 1 Director Sadaaki Kaneyoshi will handle games for mobile, console and PC; production Division 2 Director Shoji Dewa will handle card games. Other hires have been made as well, including Yoshihiko Ota as Corporate Officer and Masato Kubota as Human Resource Department General Manager.
The names may not be familiar to gamers, but there is some good news here. The company is structuring a Production Division 3 that will work within its "digital entertainment business." No, not pachinko, but rather games. Apparently, the division was put together to "respond to the rapid market changes that surround Konami, and to achieve further growth of our digital entertainment business."
That doesn't mean we're going to see a new Contra or Castlevania anytime soon, but it is a step in the right direction. We'll probably see what the company has planned within the next year. Again, game-wise.
Why did this division get put together? It didn't say officially, but more than likely Konami saw what it needed to do with its business after the abrupt failure of Metal Gear Survive and will likely lean on other franchises to bring it back into the good graces of gamers. (Bring back the Hudson Soft games!)
Yesterday was a good first step in this new direction with an update for Super Bomberman R that included Solid Snake characters (voiced by David Hayter) along with favorites from Contra, Legend of the Mystical Ninja and more.
Alright, Konami. You've made your move. Now let's see you put it to good use. (And no, we do not mean Suikoden Pachinko.)