It’s surprising to know that Konami has been posting year-on-year losses for the past couple of years as well as the past fiscal year. It just released details of its financial performance, and it doesn’t look good. The company’s revenue came down 15% from its earnings last year; its net income also decreased 42.8% when compared to last year.
Konami saw its biggest losses in the digital entertainment and pachinko divisions, especially the latter. In fact, the latter division’s income fell more than 70% while the former’s income fell 17.1%. The saving graces were Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Pro Evolution Soccer 2013, both of which boosted earnings.
All is not bad, though, as the publisher’s social gaming division posted growth. In fact, Metal Gear Solid Social Ops and Dragon Collection, both of which are operated in partnership with a Japanese social networking site, saw major growth. The company’s games now have over 35 million players worldwide.
Having said all this, what does it mean for Konami? The publisher has become increasingly reliant on Metal Gear titles over the past few years. A glance at its current portfolio reveals an alarmingly large number of Castlevania and MGS titles; all these are alongside tie-in games based on anime franchises. If they want to get out of this rut, they need to innovate and introduce new franchises. They also need to generate further interest in their current titles. Personally, I don’t see anything enticing other than Metal Gear Solid V and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.
A teaser website called The Dragon Returns has gone live from Konami, and all signs are pointing towards a Castlevania: Lords of Shadow sequel. The date on the website points to Konami’s pre-E3 press conference that takes place on May 31.
A NeoGAF user snooped around the site’s source code, finding “CLOS Teaser Page” within it. Those on Facebook can also enjoy the teaser.
All we know at the moment is that the game is being developed by Mercury Steam for PS3 and Xbox 360; a Wii U version is expected as well.
Aching for a physics-based puzzle game? Konami has a treat for you. They have released Puddle, a winner in the 2010 GDC Indie Games Festival, on Xbox Live Arcade. You can grab it for 800 Microsoft points.
The project was initially a project from six students from ENJMIN, a French game development school. It was eventually picked up by Neko Entertainment and was developed further. The game highlights the various basics of physics – momentum, friction, etc. You’ll need to work your way through fires, rifts, spells, and more without evaporating away.
Puddle is expected to be released on PlayStation Network on January 31 for $9.99.
The latest issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine carries a rumor that Metal Gear Solid 5 will be announced by Konami sometime next month or May. Personally, I think such an announcement would be better suited for E3, but then again the OPSM knows what it’s doing.
There’s speculation going on about the Internet that suggests a prequel to MGS4 that explores how Raiden becomes a cyborg ninja and managed to save Sunny from the Patriots. It could also be a squad-based game featuring the newly formed Foxhound team being led by Meryl.
The magazine also notes that the sequel might not be directed by Hideo Kojima, but that he would probably be involved in some may.
Konami sends word that a completely updated and enhanced version of GTi Club+ will be released via the PlayStation Store on December 4. It will be priced at 14.99 Euros and will offer all new graphics and expanded gameplay elements.
To be a 335MB download, the game will feature a French locale within a giant game map. It will run at 60 fps and offer five licensed cars – Austin Mini Cooper, Renault 5, Fiat A112, Abarth, Lancia Delta and the VW Golf GTi.
Additions to the game include new game modes, as well as PlayStation Eye support. It also supports 5.1 surround sound and player-to-player voice communications.
MGS fan? Lots of money to spare? Be sure to get yourself one of the world exclusive Metal Gear Solid 4 watches that will be sold by Gamestation within the next few days.
A truly limited edition, only 500 units have been made worldwide, individually numbered 1 to 500 with a Konami certificate of authenticity and approved by Hideo Kojima. It will retail for 99.99 GBP.
Having sold millions of copies of Metal Gear Solid 4, Konami today sends word that the online multiplayer action game Metal Gear Online has gained over 1 million members worldwide since its launch in June 2008. To celebrate this achievement, the publisher is launching a commemorative campaign that will officially begin on November 25, awarding reward points to gamers who play the game during the promotion. These points can be used to purchase new online gear from the in-game reward shop.
All players who own the game and access it between November 25 and December 9 will receive 10,000 reward points each. These points will be given to players on the last day of the campaign. Also, player characters will have the chance to be one of 30 people to receive an additional 100,000 reward points.
Konami noted that a special GENE and MEME expansion bundle pack will also be made available at a special price of $14.99 this holiday season.
KOEI today announced that it has shipped a combined one and a half million units worldwide of Warriors Orochi across all platforms. The hit title is a crossover of the company’s two biggest franchises – Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors.
“This milestone is a significant testament to the global impact not only of this game, but also to the tremendous admiration that fans worldwide share for the DYNASTY WARRIORS and SAMURAI WARRIORS characters,” said Amos Ip, Senior Vice President at KOEI Corporation. “As we celebrate, I would like to recognize and express our thanks to the video game world’s greatest fans for making this achievement possible.”
Warriors Orochi is now available for PS2, PSP, PC and Xbox 360. The company also announced the sequel Warriors Orochi 2, which it hopes to release this September on PS2 and Xbox 360.