Saturday, May 23, 2015
So Long "Silent Hills"...So Long Konami.
When you think of Konami, what do you think of? I mean they're a video game company that has been around for so fucking long and have been responsible for so many numerous classic games and franchises that you can't just even think of just one game when you think of Konami. Let's run down a basic list here of games/franchises from the Konami banner:
Metal Gear Solid
Blades of Steel
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Zone of the Enders
And that's only a small selection. They've had numerous releases in arcades, on consoles and computers, etc. They have a hell of a legacy and a special place in people's hearts (especially mine), and they even have a few upcoming releases that are going to be nothing short of amazing.
Or at least they did.
Some strange things have been brewing within Konami. One of the biggest game gurus in the world, Hideo Kojima, is the mastermind behind Konami's smash hit Metal Gear Solid franchise. The long awaited next installment, "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain" is on the horizon...but it seems that Kojima has disappeared. The logo of his production studio has disappeared from any promotional material, he's practically vanished from Twitter, and something else he had been working on has been flushed down the toilet.
That game was going to be the eagerly anticipated "Silent Hills", which was going to be a revival of their stagnant Silent Hill franchise and was even preceded by a "playable trailer" that scared the holy living fucking shit out of everyone (which has since been yanked). I was fully erect with excitement over this, but alas, the game is no more...and it looks like Konami as a whole is following with it.
They're not going bankrupt or anything like that, but instead have recently revealed that they will be focusing almost exclusively on mobile gaming instead.
That's right, one of the most beloved and revered video game publishers/developers will be moving on to cookie-cutter mobile gaming laced with microtransactions.
Fuck me rigid.
Now from a business standpoint, maybe this makes sense. Cell phone games rake in tons of cash, and Konami's recent console releases...well, they haven't. Not to mention the fact that with Kojima saying fuck it and leaving (which is almost certainly what happened, no matter what any press releases may say) helps point to the fact that Konami was probably looking to switch gears this way for some time.
Now it isn't just Konami doing things like this. Sega recently announced that they would be focusing almost exclusively on mobile and PC gaming. Hell, even fucking Nintendo is entering the mobile realm. What the fuck is going on here?
When you think of mobile gaming, you think of casual gaming at its most...well, casual. And once again, that's probably just a good business decision. Making games that anyone can just pick up and play that is laced with microtransactions is sure to be a hit and roll in some fast cash. The days of publishers letting their developers craft labors of love with deep gameplay is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Now maybe this isn't such a bad thing. I don't know about any of you, but since I've been getting older, I don't have the crazy amount of time to devote to playing such a deep game. I usually end up playing games in relatively short spurts here and there. Maybe with our ever-consuming lives we just don't have the time as a whole to devote to big time video games, and the rise of casual mobile gaming is a reflection of that. Maybe this is truly what is for the best.
Or maybe not.
In the end it's up to all of us and we decide with our wallets. I'll personally miss big time video games released from major companies I grew up with, and I'm still super fucking peeved that we're not getting "Silent Hills" and that the Metal Gear franchise will probably be absolute pure shit without Kojima, but maybe there's people out there that are totally happy and okay with all that.
If there are, fuck them. And fuck the future.