The Fall of Konami Sept 3, 2021 12:11:18 GMT -5
Post by davidpacman on Sept 3, 2021 12:11:18 GMT -5
I've been thinking about Konami a lot lately. Going back to their NES catalog shows that they were once a great developer, arguably superceding Capcom in sheer volume and quality of releases. Obviously later on they would be universally known for Metal Gear and Silent Hill, which are well deserved, but I tend to remember them more for stuff like Gradius, Twinbee, Xexex, Mystic Warriors and Axelay. Just so much quality.
So what happened? Why are they a non-entity today, when their once rival, Capcom, is currently flourishing?
If you trace their history, I believe they started their fall in 1995, when they became a holding company and spread their development teams among several subsidiaries around the country. They still released great games, like Symphony of the Night, Gradius Gaiden, Metal Gear Solid and Slent Hill. But you also have crap like Hybrid Heaven, Kensei, Gungage, and Deadly Arts.
Now, this might just be my opinion, but I feel like their output on PS2 was of noteably worse quality compared to their rivals. Why does Suikoden III look so poor compared to Final Fantasy X? Why do the 3D Castlevanias suck? Even my favorite Konami game from that generation, Gradius V, wasn't even made by them! I remember hearing a story about Hideo Kojima gathering a team from the Osaka studio for a meeting and screaming at them for delivering subpar products.
They basically outsourced everything when the HD generation hit, and while Capcom did that as well, they bounced back. But Konami didn't. Why? Do their staff simply lack the talent to make something worthwhile? Are the noteably awful working conditions preventing people from working at their true potential in fear of being demoted? Do the rumors of the executives being involved with the Yakuza hold any weight?
What do you guys think? I just think it's sad, that one of the best developers of the 80s fell so far, when they have the money and resources to continue being great.