How Konami went from game developer darling to esports hosts and casino software development.

How Konami went from game developer darling to esports hosts and casino software development.
How Konami went from game developer darling to esports hosts and casino software development. Konami

When Konami announced their latest venture into the eSports market at the Tokyo Game Show on the 12th of September, the news came as quite a surprise to many.

For a company that is known for its amusement machines like ‘pachislots’ and single-player classics like Frogger, Silent Hill, and the Metal Gear series, this was an amazing development indeed.

Konami wanted to tap into the eSports industry, and in the Tokyo Game Show, they talked about the launch of their Creative Centre Ginza, which is their own venture into the eSports scene.

With the rise in popularity of MOBAs like League of Legends and first-person shooters like Counter Strike Global Offensive, eSports has seen a significant boom.

The revenue generated is at an all-time high, and more and more gaming firms are investing in them and sponsoring tournaments and teams all across the globe.

So it’s not all that surprising why Konami wants to boost its position in this ever-expanding market.

Konami’s Creative Centre and Gambling Software.

Now, before Konami parted ways with the eccentric game designer and producer Hideo Kojima, games like Pro Evolution Soccer, Metal Gear and Silent Hills were what they focused on the most.

But ever since the Silent Hills PT fiasco with Kojima and Del Toro, they have taken a completely different yet a more profitable route of investing in mobile and gambling games.

Konami casino games were highly profitable for them, you can see some of their output here, and the amount of revenue they generated.

And unlike the American and European countries or even some Asian countries like Korea and China, Japan is not all that big a fan of PC gaming.

Most of their multiplayer gaming experience comes from handheld consoles (primarily Nintendo) and smartphone games.

This is why Casino apps are so very popular in Japan. Soon pachislot machines and online poker became the primary sources of revenue for Konami.

And with the recent rise of eSports, the Konami Creative Centre Ginza (KCCG) is the company’s attempt to tapping and regulating the eSports scene in Japan.

So what roles will the KCCG play for the future of eSports in Japan? Let’s take a look:

1. Acting as a production and distribution center of eSports.

Stream coverage and media rights volatility are some of the things that eSports pro leagues suffer from.

This is where the producers lose a lot of their revenue.

But the KCCG studio solves this issue by not only providing all the resources for streaming but by having direct control over the media outlets as well.

They will also allow a native support of their streams in multiple languages and even ‘integrate live graphics overlays into distributed footage.’

But Konami promises that the Ginza will not be beneficial for eSports alone. It’s streaming potential will help out with cultural productions, which may include concerts, live music, and even theatre broadcasts.

2. Be Japan’s First-ever eSports school.

The eSports scene in Japan is comparatively much weaker to the European and North American regions.

So to provide a stable platform for the rise of eSports in the nation, the KCCG will be providing a school to teach the students how to succeed in the field.

Gameplay, strategy, and game mechanics are not going to be the only fields that the school will cover. They will focus on managerial and operational fields as well, and work to integrate the students on every aspect of eSports.

According to this interesting news, the eSports Ginza School will be open to the public in 2020 and is going to be the first academic institution of its kind.

3. Serve as a retail outlet.

The KCCG is going to be 12-stories in height, and one of the floors is going to be a show floor and a retail outlet for eSports-related products.

They will sell high-end gaming equipment and provide an amusement center, which will harbor a lot of gambling games.

Most of Konami’s internal design studios focused on the production of amusement/gambling machines like pachislots.

They will now be concentrating on making eSports focused gaming computers and accessories, which will be available to the students as well as the general public for sale.

Konami’s initial lack of enthusiasm for video games.

Konami initially had a lot of success with its classic titles like Contra, Metal Gear Solid, and Silent Hill.

But the turning point came when they had a falling out with Hideo Kojima after Konami pulled their funding from the Silent Hills game starring Norman Reedus.

In 2015, there was a lot of news regarding Konami’s controversial business practices, and how poorly they treated their own staff.

After losing faith with a majority of their player base, Konami soon changed their ways and started developing high-budget games, which came with a lot of risks.

They made a lot of investments in online mobile gambling applications as well as in pachislot games. And though this might have further disgruntled the fans, Konami’s revenue was at an all-time high with their stocks steadily increasing.

Amusement machines soon became the foundation of Konami’s business model. But after this controversy with the Unity Game Engine, the Japanese government steadily began to take down the gambling industry.

There were a lot of legal loopholes with the pachislot machines which they closed, and they soon made pachislot parlors an unprofitable avenue for Konami’s growth.

This is why Konami is now trying to invest in the eSports scene. They are now the only sponsor of the Pro Evolution Soccer eSports league and hoping to extend their influence into other games as well with the help of their Ginza.

The Future of eSports in Japan and Konami.

Konami’s Creative Centre Ginza is just the very first step in creating the platform off of which the eSports industry can bloom in Japan.

The future of eSports in Japan looks bright, with a lot of untapped potential which, when honed and regulated, can give a still competition to the other eSports giants of the world.

We hope you enjoyed our article today.

Till next time!

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