BeatMania | Castlevania | Contra | Dance Dance Revolution | Frogger | Gradius | GuitarFreaks | Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu | Karaoke Revolution | Mahjong Fight Club | Metal Gear | MLB Power Pros | pop'n music | Pro Evolution | Rave Master | Rocket Knight Adventures | Rush'N Attack | Salamander | Silent Hill | Silent Scope | Suikoden | Thrill Drive | Time Pilot | Tokimeki Memorial | Track & Field | TwinBee | Wai Wai World | Zone of the Enders |
Konami is a well known video game developer who made a name for themselves creating hit arcade games. The company's success grew when they started releasing games for home consoles. They ported hit arcade games like Contra, Super C, Rush N Attack, Platoon, and Castlevaina to the NES and various PC formats. Konami also made console and PC exclusive games like Metal Gear. Konami is also famous for creating the " Konami Code", first used in Gradius. However, it is most famous for its use in Contra, where inputting this code gave the player 30 lives. Sometimes, Konami uses the code in other games for a different effect. Konami have worked on a number of IP-based games like TMNT, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Bucky O'Hare.
Konami is credited for creating innovative games like Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest . Several features, like non-linear progression, buying weapons, and levelling up, would later be used in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the Sony Playstation years later. From the success of SOTN, Konami created a series of handheld Castlevaina games with the same type of action/adventure gameplay. Other significant games include sports games like Double Dribble, shooters like Contra, and space shooters like Life Force and Gradius.
In 1995, Konami released Suikoden for the Sony Playstation, a console with many well-known RPG's. Suikoden was a turn-based RPG with strong Chinese and Japanese influences. Like SaGa games and other titles, the player could recruit up to 108 characters and use six during battle. The game was successful enough for Konami to release a sequel, Suikoden 2. It focused on the one thing many gamers felt the first lacked: a powerful story. Suikoden 2 featured a deep story about politics and war. With the success of Suikoden 2, Suikoden was established as an RPG franchise that would spawn several sequels and spin-offs.
Another of Konami's major franchises is Silent Hill, with the original game released in 1999 as their response to other survival horrors of the time, like Resident Evil. Unlike Resident Evil, which focused on visceral scares, Silent Hill featured a tense atmosphere, psychological horror and deep plot elements. The game would become a success for the company and develop a solid fanbase. On the Playstation 2, Konami released a sequel, Silent Hill 2. The game was a critical and financial success, regarded by many as the best in the series. The series would go on to include various sequels and a film adaptation.
In 1998, Konami developer Hideo Kojima created the stealth action game Metal Gear Solid. He was already known in the gaming world for games like Metal Gear, Snatcher, and Policenauts. However, he did not become particularly famous until his work on Metal Gear Solid on the PS1. The game enjoyed both critical and financial success and, like several other Konami franchises, would be followed by many sequels, like Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. The game was given more attention than its predecessor, from the movie-level production values to portions of the music having been written by Hollywood talent. It would become a big seller for the Playstation 2, but was criticized for its overly long cutscenes and confusing story. However, it was still successful enough to warrant a follow-up: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater . Konami also remade the original Metal Gear Solid for the GameCube, under the names Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. It employed many of the features Sons of Liberty did, like improved cinematics and aiming in a first person view. When the Playstation 3 came out, Konami released the fourth game in the Metal Gear storyline: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Upon release, it earned notable amounts of praise as did its successor Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain which was released across a variety of Microsoft and Sony platforms.
Despite their high profile and dedicated fanbase, controversy began to grow around Konami in 2015 after they committed a series of business decisions which upset many fans. These decisions included allegedly mistreating employees, reportedly firing Kojima and removing his name from all Metal Gear Solid branding before claiming he was just taking "a long break", reportedly barring Kojima from attending the 2015 Game Awards, and issuing a DMCA takedown notice against a YouTube video critical of them. Konami was similarly criticised for their handling of the Silent Hill franchise around this same time.
The Silent Hill franchise had been largely ignored since 2012 when they released a HD version of Silent Hill 2 and 3 that had been poorly received by its audience, particularly because it removed the fog effects that were a key part of Silent Hill 2. In 2014 an experimental psychological horror game called P.T. was released by the unknown 7780s Studio. By following a series of enigmatic clues in the game one player eventually discovered that 7780 was a front name for Kojima Productions and that a new Silent Hill game titled Silent Hills was currently under development by Kojima and film director Guillermo del Toro. Despite high expectations for the game Konami announced in April 2015 that the game had been cancelled. Many fans felt further offended by their continuation of the series then coming in the form of a pachinko machine.
One particularly critical voice of Konami has been games reviewer and commentator Jim Sterling who in addition to raising many of the above points has also claimed that Konami have not marketed any franchises except their most popular ones to the degree they should have, that they have not shipped adequate units of various games to successfully fulfil the demand for them, and that they have blacklisted him after he has provided criticism of them.