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Konami

Konami logo

Konami is a leading developer and publisher of numerous popular and strong-selling toys, trading cards, anime, tokusatsu, slot machines and computer and video games. The company was founded in 1969 as a jukebox rental and repair business in Osaka, Japan, by Kagemasa Kozuki, the still-current chairman and CEO. The name "Konami" is a conjunction of the names Kagemasa Kozuki, Yoshinobu Nakama, Hiro Matsuda and Shokichi Ishihara, who were partners acquired by Kozuki and the original founders of Konami Industry Co., Ltd in 1973. Konami also means "small wave".

Konami is the publisher of the Silent Hill series of video games, among others, and is currently headquartered in Tokyo and additionally operates health and physical fitness clubs in Japan.

History

On March 19, 1973, Kozuki transformed the business into Konami Industry Co., Ltd. and began work on manufacturing "amusement machines" for arcades. Their first actual game machine was not created until 1978. They began to achieve success with hit arcade games such as 1981's Frogger, Scramble and Super Cobra.

Between 1982 and 1985, Konami manufactured and sold game software for home PCs, producing games for the MSX and Nintendo's Family Computer ("Famicom") game consoles. This new business was in addition to, not in place of, the arcades, and many hit console games of this time period were ports of the arcade versions. Konami of America Inc. was established in Torrance, California in 1982, but moved to Illinois in 1984. Also in 1984, Konami expanded to the United Kingdom and established Konami Limited.

Konami began to achieve great success when the Famicom took off, being released in the United States as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Many of the NES/Famicom's bestselling titles were produced by Konami, including Gradius, the Castlevania series, the Contra series, and Metal Gear. Konami was one of the most active and prolific third party development studios for the NES, which led to conflict with Nintendo of America's licensing restrictions. During the heyday of the NES, Nintendo of America controlled the production of all licensed NES software titles, and limited third party developers to a maximum of five titles per year. Several companies found a way around this restriction by founding quasi-independent subsidiary corporations, effectively doubling the number of games that they could release during the year. In the case of Konami, this subsidiary was known as Ultra Games, and a large number of Konami titles were published in North America under their banner, including the original Metal Gear, Gyruss, Skate or Die, the first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games and the critically savaged Snake's Revenge (a Japanese-made Metal Gear sequel made specifically for the Western market). In Europe, faced with a similar restriction placed by Nintendo's European branch, Konami established Palcom Software Ltd. to the same end. By the early 1990s, Nintendo of America had relaxed many of the more draconian of its licensing restrictions, and, no longer needed, Ultra was shut down in 1992, with the remainder of its staff being reabsorbed into Konami's official American branch.

In 1992, members of Konami left to form Treasure Co. Ltd, which, like Konami, is also well-known in the video gaming community for creating high caliber shooters and action games.

In 1999, Konami moved its U.S corporate offices from Buffalo Grove, Illinois to its current location in Redwood City, California. The Buffalo Grove location remained open strictly for the manufacturing of Konami's arcade video games.

In 2003, Konami of America closed down their arcade division due to heavy losses; the entire Buffalo Grove location was shut down along with it. All machine inquires and new machines will be handled by Betson Enterprises.

Also in 2003, Konami teamed up the Japanese film production company, Toho Company, Ltd. to create their own franchise of TV series in the tokusatsu genre, known as the Chōseishin Series, in order to compete with Toei's Super Sentai series.

In 2005, Konami became the majority owner of Hudson Soft. Konami has an office and gaming production facility in Las Vegas, Nevada for its casino gaming equipment subsidiary, Konami Gaming.

Konami is today the fourth largest game developer in Japan after (in decending order) Nintendo Co, Ltd., Sega Sammy Holdings, and Namco Bandai Holdings.

Konami is represented by the number "573". "Five" in Japanese is "go", changed to the voiceless form "ko"; "7" in Japanese is "nana" shortened to "na"; "3" in Japanese is mittsu, shortened to "mi"; "573" = "ko-na-mi". This number appears in many Konami telephone numbers and as a high score in Konami games. Take Dance Dance Revolution as a example. The heavy chart of the song MAX300 (DDRMAX) has a 573 total combo (counting double steps as two combos).

Controversies surrounding Silent Hill

Silent Hill HD Collection

Main article: Silent Hill HD Collection

Upon learning of the pending release of an HD update of Silent Hill 2 and 3, Guy Cihi stated that he owned the rights to the voice and motion work of James Sunderland, and demanded he be financially compensated for the re-release.[1] Several notable creators associated with the Silent Hill series disagreed, stating that residuals in the video game industry "don't exist", and calling Cihi's demands "unfounded".[2][3][4] The ensuing fallout led to the recasting of all the voicework for both games in the HD Collection and caused controversy within the fan base, with some fans siding with Cihi, while others argued that Konami was in the right.

The final product was immediately discovered to be loaded with bugs and glitches[5], and was released with a "day one patch" on the PS3 that fixed some minor issues.[citation needed] Developer Tomm Hulett revealed that Konami was responsible for the poor state of the game, due to having lost the original coding for both installments.[6] Four months later, a second patch was released, which fixed the majority of the problems on PS3 versions of the game.[7] An expected patch for the Xbox 360 was cancelled, angering many fans who felt the series was being mishandled.[8] Konami cited "resources" and "technical issues" as their reason for not patching the XBOX 360 version of the HD Collection.

P.T. / Silent Hills

Main article: Silent Hills
Main article: P.T.

In August 2014, Konami announced Silent Hills, an upcoming installment set to be developed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro. However, Kojima suddenly split with the company in early 2015, leaving the future of Silent Hills in jeopardy.[9] That May, Konami president Hayakawa Kōzuki announced that the company would be focusing on developing mobile games, sparking fears that the corporation will turn its back on console games and popular series such as Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill. Konami has stated that it will continue to develop new installments in both the Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid franchises.[10]

After announcing the cancellation of Silent Hills, Konami removed P.T. from the PS4 store.[11] This prompted former Silent Hills developer Guillermo del Toro to criticize Konami's "scorched earth" approach to removing all traces of P.T. and Silent Hills.[12] Fans of the series have started a petition asking for the creation of Silent Hills, which has gained an upwards of almost 200,000 signatures.[13]

Trivia

Foot poster

KONAMI poster.

  • The Konami Code has become quite well-known among gamers, due to the fact that it unlocks secrets in most of the games published by Konami, even in the Silent Hill series. It is even used in some games not published by them.
  • In Silent Hill 2, on Texxon Gas station's lockers, KONAMI Computer and KONAMI is written.

References

  1. Guy Cihi writes open letter about Silent Hill HD Collection's voice recasting
  2. Interesting Troy Baker interview fuels the fire on the new HD Collection voice cast controversy
  3. http://survivalhorroronline.com/2011/08/30/thessaly-lerner-gives-her-opinion-on-voice-acting-for-konami/ [Thessaly Lerner gives her opinion on voice acting for Konami]
  4. http://silenthaven.net/post/9551114236 [Mary Elizabeth McGlynn on Silent Hill HD Collection]
  5. http://glitchcat.com/silent-hill-hd-collection-review/ [Silent Hill HD Collection review]
  6. http://www.destructoid.com/silent-hill-hd-was-made-from-incomplete-code-228158.phtml [Silent Hill HD was made from incomplete code]
  7. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-07-11-silent-hill-hd-collection-finally-gets-ps3-patch [Silent Hill HD Collection finally gets PS3 patch]
  8. http://www.relyonhorror.com/latest-news/patch-for-xbox-360-version-of-the-silent-hill-hd-collection-cancelled/ [Patch for XBOX 360 version of the Silent Hill HD Collection cancelled]
  9. http://videogamenewssource.com/2015/03/22/kojima-leaves-konami-fate-of-metal-gear-and-silent-hills-unknown/ [Kojima leaves fate of Metal Gear and Silent Hills unknown]
  10. http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/27/8503181/silent-hills-cancelled [Silent Hills cancelled]
  11. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/48909/20150427/konami-silent-hills-pt-will-be-removed-from-playstation-store-this-week-heres-why.htm [Konami Silent Hills PT will be removed from PlayStation store this week]
  12. http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/guillermo-del-toro-speaks-out-on-konami-s-scorched-earth-approach-to-pt-cancellation/0149625 [Guillermo del Toro speaks out on Konami's scorched earth approach to PT cancellation]
  13. https://www.change.org/p/kojima-productions-continue-working-on-silent-hills [Kojima Productions: Continue working on Silent Hills]
Silent Hill games v · e · d
Main series Silent Hill · 2 · 3 · 4 · Origins · Homecoming · Shattered Memories · Downpour
Ports / Adaptations Play Novel · Mobile · HD Collection
Spin-offs The Arcade · Orphan · 2 · 3 · The Escape · Book of Memories
Cancelled Silent Hills (P.T.)
Production Konami · Team Silent · Climax Studios · Double Helix · Vatra Games · WayForward Technologies
Extras Inspirations · Features

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