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.
Social gaming has become, without a doubt, one of the major forces in the industry over the past few years. Mushfiq Zaman traces the popularity of these games, hoping to understand what makes them tick, and if they have any drawbacks. This marks the beginning of our social gaming category.
The last decade has seen the rise of several social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, and most recently, Google Plus. It’s not surprising that along with this came the growing popularity of the games being played on these websites. With online micro-transactions and multitudes of followers, this segment has now turned into a billion dollar industry. The question that comes to mind the most is why and how has this happened?