The rumors are true and it’s a sad day for gamers. If you have been following the news regarding Konami, then I’m sure you are well aware of the very uncertain status of the Silent Hill reboot with Hideo Kojima, Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus as well as Kojima himself. According to Kotaku, it was confirmed yesterday that the reboot of this prolific horror series has been canceled and their demo, P. T. (Playable Teaser), will be taken off the PlayStation store later this week. Yet, what does this mean for Konami itself?
There’s been plenty of talk of how Konami has been reorganizing the company as a whole and has led to Kojima Productions being rebranded as Konami Digital Productions along with other evidence of Kojima’s name being removed from his upcoming game Metal Gear V: The Phantom Pain. This caused a lot of speculation regarding whether Kojima even involved with Konami let alone his own game. After a bit of poking around, I found a plethora of speculation and rumors only to discern that Kojima has likely been demoted and made a contract employee. While there is no definitive statement supporting this, Konami PR responded in an interview to Japanese site Gamespark in regards to Kojima’s employment status, “I am unable to comment on an individual’s type of employment.” Yet, the voice behind some of Metal Gear‘s tracks such as “Heavens Divide” and “Sins of the Father,” Donna Burke, went to Facebook and stated, “Don’t throw away the last 5 years because Konami changed the contract status of a genius” correcting her statement in a previous tweet.
This, again, only leads to more speculation. What we do know is that Kojima is currently finishing up the latest installment of the Metal Gear series. Yet, what happened after that completely up in the air. Kojima has not been seen on social media as of late, let alone shining a light on his current status with Konami. It has been stated by Konami PR, “It true that during the organizational change, there were things that were revised,” in regards to Gamespark’s inquiry about Kojima Production staff being restricted in their email and internet use which may explain the lack of comment on Kojima’s behalf.
Despite Kojima’s long-running involvement with Konami and the speculation of his employment status, many have wondered if this means the beginning of the end of the Japanese company and not just a change with one of their big name employees. Yet, there may be more evident that Konami is on the down and out. As of April 24, 2015, Konami voluntarily delisted from the New York stock exchange saying, “continued listing on the NYSE is not economically justified.” So is this the end of Konami?
Taking into consideration the cancellation of the highly anticipated new installment of Silent Hill, rebranding Kojima Productions as Konami Digital Productions, and the speculated loss of one of Konami’s biggest game designers, the company still has many opportunities to survive. Even though there are signs that Konami’s involvement with digital entertainment may be crumbling, that doesn’t mean it can’t survive in its other ventures such as their Pachinko machines. Is it the end for Konami? I highly doubt it. Is Konami stepping out of game design? This seems far more likely.
In my opinion, I’d be sad to see Konami go as I’ve been a Metal Gear and Silent Hill fan for years. Yet, there are countless titles they have released that I have limited experience with or absolutely no love for such as the Castlevania series, Contra, and multiple sports titles. Nonetheless, I have confidence in the game developers who have given us these outstanding games. No matter the direction Konami goes, I’m sure there will be another Metal Gear in our future. In fact, in a statement to Kotaku, “Konami is committed to new Silent Hill titles…” This could be wishful thinking but I’ll try to think positively. I would love to see another Silent Hill and after surviving two hours in P.T. I want to see something that promising in the horror genre. Alas, we can only wait and hope for the best.
Konami is a beloved publisher; hopefully, this will only be a hiccup, and the company can move on.