Konami Reports Increased Profit, Only One Console Game Listed For Global Release
Konami closed out its fiscal year with increased operating and net profit. Unfortunately for fans of the publisher’s console games, the division reported reduced sales (though operating income was slightly elevated).
On the corporate level, Konami posted profits of ¥9.5 billion ($79.2 million), up from ¥3.8 billion ($31.7 million) last year. The company projects this to remain constant through fiscal 2016.
The digital entertainment division (home of console and PC gaming) recognized sales of ¥97 billion ($808.9 million), down from ¥104.3 billion ($869.8 million). Since the fiscal year that closed on March 31, 2012, Konami’s digital entertainment division has posted steady decreases amounting to a drop of ¥43.4 billion ($361.9 million) or 30 percent.
In the current fiscal year, which began on April 1, Konami only has one title listed for release outside of Japan. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is listed and depicted (oddly with Hideo Kojima’s name still attached on the box art).
Click to enlarge (and, yes, Konami is still making PSP games).
While Winning Eleven Soccer (Pro Evolution Soccer in the West) is mentioned for Japanese release, it does not appear as a “global” title. This doesn’t indicate it won’t appear in North America and Europe, but even counting that title, it puts Konami’s western releases at a slim two.
Konami saw increases in its “gaming & systems” division (gambling) and “pachislot & pachinko” divisions. The “health & fitness” division saw a slight decrease.
Konami has been the subject of much discussion recently, with Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima’s name surprisingly removed from current and past box art. The company also canceled Silent Hills, a surprise after the well-received P.T. (playable trailer) that was released at Gamescom 2014.
The cancelation of Silent Hills goes unmentioned in the financial statement. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is referenced in one sentence related to the release date. Hideo Kojima’s name is entirely absent (except for the image above).
[Source: Konami (1), (2), (3)]
While the circumstances surrounding Kojima's relationship with Konami remain a mystery, certain details can be said with clarity. Konami does seem to be reconfiguring its business (and has been over a number of years), as revenues from digital entertainment have decreased. The company is introducing more mobile and arcade titles in Japan, with dwindling support for consoles in the West.
Konami also recently executed a cost-savings move by delisting itself from the New York Stock Exchange. Since trading volume was low and regulatory compliance costs were significant, the company opted to move to "over the counter" trading (similar to many other foreign publishers).
I think it's too early to suggest that Konami is pulling out of console gaming entirely, but it does appear that what will remain will be a focused lineup with titles that are "sure things." The landscape is changing, and Konami is one of the pieces making significant changes.