Konami are to stop developing games for the AAA console market, except for PES, a new report suggests.
To begin with, Konami’s Worldwide Technology Director Julien Merceron is said to have left the company after being unhappy with the companies transition away from consoles games towards mobile gaming. Merceron is an extremely important figure at Konami and played a big role in the creation of the FOX engine which Metal Gear Solid V and PES are run on.
Problems at Konami first started earlier this year when Hideo Kojima’s name was removed from all Metal Gear Solid V marketing assets, leading to Kojima’s exit from the company. His studio, Kojima Productions were also dissolved leaving the future of the Metal Gear Solid franchise in doubt.
As if the whole Kojima fiasco already portrayed Konami in a bad light, there was also a damning report by a Japanese Publication last month depicting a harsh working environment at Konami.
The french website claims that no recruitment has been undertaken despite the companies recruitment call earlier this year and therefore there are no AAA games currently in pre-production at Konami other than its PES series. Apparently, all console projects are said to have been stopped or canceled by the new management.
Konami are also facing backlash from PC gamers following the release of PES 2016 on PC with no demo being available before the game released. Konami promised a demo would be available when the game launches, but still two days later no demo is available. Not only that, PES 2016 is graphically inferior to next-gen versions despite having better hardware available to push the game to the max. It has left many feeling that the company just do not care about the PC platform and that frustration is shared by PES European Product Manager Adam Bhatti.
Regarding the lack of a demo, Bhatti’s reply on Twitter suggests that the decisions are being made from higher up in management. When told that he needs to try to make the guys in the office need a mentality change, he replied:
@SnakeCRO I think that’s my point. It’s a tough argument for me to fight for if there so much piracy and demo hacking. But I’ll never stop!
— Adam Bhatti (@Adam_Bhatti) September 16, 2015
At present, there are no announcements of any future console games from Konami. However with PES 2016 clearly being more focused on console than PC along with the Euro 2016 license they have secured, it looks like there may be truth to this report and PES may be Konami’s last surviving console franchise.
It certainly seems that management over at Konami are hindering game development rather than helping it. Only time will tell whether or not this report does indeed materialize.