Konami is joining several other triple-A gaming publishers and shifting its focus toward mobile gaming.
The publisher of the Metal Gear Solid franchise has reportedly stopped production on all triple-A video game titles, with the sole exception of Pro Evolution Soccer. The news comes from French website Gameblog, which Eurogamer is reporting as true. Konmai has had previously reported problems around the development of Metal Gear Solid: 5, and has been talking about mobile gaming for a while now.
Konami isn’t the only Japanese triple-A publisher to be leaving dedicated games machines and putting resources into mobile titles. Many Japanese publishers who once focused solely on triple-A gaming have also shifted efforts and resources to developing for mobile devices — Sony, Capcom, Square Enix, Bandai Namco, and Sega all produce mobile games — while also keeping one foot in console and PC development. But few have abandoned triple-A development in the same manner as Konami has. Here’s just a few examples.
Cave: The Guinness Book of Records holder for being the most prolific developer of bullet-hell shooters. Cave was also responsible for a slew of arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 2, and Xbox 360 titles. Now, the company has headed in the mobile direction and last year ceased all Western operations.
Mistwalker: Its founders include Hironobu Sakaguchi (He created a little series called Final Fantasy, you may have heard of it), which immediately gave the studio a pedigree. Mistwalked created Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey for Microsoft and also The Last Story for Nintendo. Since 2011, though, all of the studio’s output has been on mobile.
GungHo Online Entertainment: Once known for PC games like Ragnarok Online, GungHo now has a future paved with dragon gold. Its newest latest hit is Puzzles & Dragons, the mobile phenomena that’s so big in Japan that even Nintendo let GungHo use its beloved plumber mascot in Puzzles & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition.
While GungHo did acquire Grasshopper Manufacture, (Suda51’s studio, the group behind No More Heroes) and has Let It Die in the pipeline (but not without a companion mobile app), the company’s main source of revenue is the mobile world, led by Puzzle & Dragons.