Monday, March 23, 2015

Is This the End of Zombie Konami?

Freelance game writer Nadia Oxford recently posted this on her Twitter page:

Say Capcom and Konami, which of you is the sadder, more anemic shadow of the game studio I loved as a child? CAPCOM: "Me!" KONAMI: "ME!!"

Don't forget ME, Nadia!
I super-suck!
It's a harsh assessment, but it's not far off-base when you consider the two companies' increasingly lackluster output and puzzling wastes of human resources. A couple of years ago, Capcom did the unthinkable, firing Mega Man lead developer Keiji Inafune before cancelling the hotly anticipated Mega Man Legends 3. (Capcom claims the two events are unrelated. I claim that's a huge load.)

Konami would probably prefer
"dead" at this point.
Not to be outdone by its rival, Konami has recently shown Hideo Kojima the door. Yes, the very same Hideo Kojima who gave us the Metal Gear series, the only franchise that's kept Konami relevant in the last ten years. Seriously, when was the last time Konami released something from their vast catalog of beloved properties that had nothing to do with scruffy soldiers and long-winded cut scenes? For me, the last reminder of Konami's good old days was when they released Gradius V, and that was nearly ten years ago. And it was outsourced to Treasure and G-Rev! And it wasn't even the best game in the series!

Evidently, the reason for Konami's face-first fall from grace into a cement sidewalk is that they've lost their appetite for video game publishing. They're distancing themselves from the industry and investing in casino equipment and fitness centers, the same move Bally made in the late 1980s when it cut ties with Midway. Konami still intends to make Metal Gear games without Kojima's involvement, but considering the tight association between the series and its creator, and the dismal state Mega Man has been in since Inafune's departure from Capcom, you'd be wise not to expect much from future Metal Gear installments. 

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