Konami's headquarters complex in Tokyo Midtown.
|Kabushikigaisha Konami Hōrudingusu|
|Konami Industry Co., Ltd. (1973–1991)|
Konami Co., Ltd (1991–2000)
Konami Corporation (2000–2015)
|Traded as||TYO: 9766|
OTC Pink: KNMCY
|Founded||March 21, 1969|
|Products||List of Konami games|
|Revenue||¥ 262.5 billion (2019)|
|¥ 50.5 billion (2019)|
|¥ 34.2 billion (2019)|
|Owner||Kozuki family (29%)|
Number of employees
Konami Holdings Corporation,[nb 1] commonly referred to as Konami,[nb 2] is a Japanese entertainment and gambling conglomerate. It operates as a product distributor (which produces and distributes trading cards, anime, tokusatsu, slot machines, pachinko machines and arcade cabinets), video game developer and publisher company. Besides those, it has casinos around the world and also operates health and physical fitness clubs across Japan.
Konami is best known for their video games, including Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania, Contra, Frogger, Gradius, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Suikoden and Pro Evolution Soccer. Additionally, Konami also owns Bemani, known for Dance Dance Revolution and Beatmania, as well as the assets of former game developer Hudson Soft, known for Bomberman, Adventure Island, Bonk, Bloody Roar and Star Soldier. Konami is the twentieth-largest game company in the world by revenue.
The company originated in 1969 as a jukebox rental and repair business in Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan, by Kagemasa Kōzuki, who remains the company's chairman. The name Konami is a portmanteau of the names Kagemasa Kozuki, Yoshinobu Nakama, and Tatsuo Miyasako.
Konami is currently headquartered in Tokyo. In the United States, Konami manages its video game business from offices in El Segundo, California and its casino gaming business from offices in Paradise, Nevada. Its Australian gaming operations are located in Sydney. As of March 2019, it owns 22 consolidated subsidiaries around the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate structure
- 3 Video games
- 4 Marketing
- 5 Criticism and controversy
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Sources
- 10 External links
The company was founded on March 21, 1969, and was officially incorporated under the name Konami Industry Co., Ltd. (コナミ工業株式会社, Konami Kōgyō Kabushiki Gaisha) on March 19, 1973. The company's founder and current chairman, Kagemasa Kozuki, previously ran a jukebox rental and repair business in Toyonaka, Osaka before transforming the business into a manufacturer of amusement machines for video arcades. Their first coin-operated video game was released in 1978, and they began exporting products to the United States the following year.
Konami began to achieve success with hit arcade games such as 1981's Frogger, Scramble, and Super Cobra, many of which were licensed to other companies for stateside release, including Stern Electronics and Gremlin Industries. They eventually established their U.S. subsidiary, Konami of America, Inc. in 1982. It was during this period that Konami began expanding their video game business into the home consumer market following a brief stint releasing video games for the Atari 2600 in 1982 for the U.S. market. The company would release numerous games for the MSX home computer standard in 1983, followed by the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. Numerous Konami franchises were established during this period on both platforms, as well as the arcades, such as Gradius, Castlevania, Twin Bee, Ganbare Goemon, Contra and Metal Gear. Due to the success of their NES games, Konami's earnings grew from $10 million in 1987 to $300 million in 1991.
In June 1991, Konami's legal name was changed to Konami Co., Ltd. (コナミ株式会社, Konami Kabushiki Gaisha) and their headquarters would later be relocated to Minato, Tokyo in April 1993. The company started supporting the 16-bit video game consoles during this period, starting with the Super NES in 1990, followed by the PC Engine in 1991 and the Sega Genesis in 1992.
After the launch of the Sega Saturn and PlayStation in 1994, Konami became a business divisional organization with the formation of various Konami Computer Entertainment (KCE) subsidiaries, starting with KCE Tokyo and KCE Osaka (which would be later known as KCE Studios) in April 1995, followed by KCE Japan (later known as Kojima Productions) in April 1996. Each KCE subsidiary would end up creating different intellectual properties such as KCE Tokyo's Silent Hill series and KCE Japan's Metal Gear Solid series (a revival of the Metal Gear series on MSX). In 1997, Konami started producing rhythm games for arcades under the Bemani brand and branched off into the collectible card game business with the launch of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game.
In July 2000, the company's legal English name was changed once again to Konami Corporation, but the Japanese legal name remained the same. As the company transitioned into the developing video games for the sixth-generation consoles, they also branched out into the health and fitness business with the acquisitions of People Co., Ltd and Daiei Olympic Sports Club, Inc., which became Konami subsidiaries. In August 2001, Konami invested in another video game developer, Hudson Soft, which became a consolidated subsidiary after Konami accepted new third-party shares issued by them. In March 2006, Konami merged all their video game development divisions into a new subsidiary known as Konami Digital Entertainment Co. (KDE), as the parent company became a pure holding company. Their headquarters were relocated again, this time to Minato, Tokyo, in 2007.
In April 2015, Konami delisted itself from the New York Stock Exchange following the dissolution of their Kojima Productions subsidiary. In a translated interview with Nikkei Trendy Net published in the following month, the newly appointed CEO of Konami Digital Entertainment, Hideki Hayakawa, announced that Konami would shift their focus towards mobile gaming for a while, claiming that "mobile is where the future of gaming lies." The trade name of the company was changed from Konami Corporation to Konami Holdings Corporation during the same month.
- Konami Holdings Corporation
- Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
- Konami Sports & Life Co., Ltd.
- Konami Amusement Co., Ltd.
- Konami Real Estate, Inc.
- KPE, Inc.
- Konami Manufacturing and Service, Inc.
- Konami Facility Service, Inc.
- KME Co., Ltd.
- Takasago Electric Industry Co., Ltd.
- Hudson Soft Company, Limited: On 2011-01-20, Konami Corporation announced turning Hudson Soft Co., Ltd. as its wholly subsidiary via share exchange. The exchange became effective on 2011-04-01.
- DIGITAL GOLF Inc.: On 2011-01-20, Konami Corporation announced the acquisition of DIGITAL GOLF Inc. via share exchange. DIGITAL GOLF would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Konami Corporation. The exchange became effective on 2011-03-01.
- Internet Revolution, Inc.
- Biz Share Corporation
- Combi Wellness Corporation
- THE CLUB AT YEBISU GARDEN CO., LTD.
- Konami Holdings Corporation
- Konami Australia Pty Ltd (established in 1996)
- Konami Corporation of America: Current U.S.-based holding company.
- Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.: former American holding company, formerly Konami of America Inc., Konami Corporation of America. On October 13, 2003, Konami Corporation of Redwood City, California announced it was expanding its operations to El Segundo, California, under the new name of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. The Redwood City operations have since been consolidated to El Segundo in 2007.
- Konami Digital Entertainment B.V.: Current European-based holding company.
- Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH: former holding company Europe, formerly Konami Limited, Konami Corporation of Europe B.V.. On March 31, 2003, Konami of Europe announced it would be renamed as Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH at the start of Konami's new financial year (2003-04-01).
- Konami Digital Entertainment Limited (科樂美數碼娛樂有限公司): Established in 1994-09-? as Konami (Hong Kong) Limited. Korea and Singapore divisions were established in 2000-10-?. In 2001-06-?, the company changed name to Konami Marketing (ASIA) Ltd. (科樂美行銷(亞洲)有限公司). On 2006-03-?, the company was renamed Konami Digital Entertainment Limited.
- Konami Software Shanghai, Inc. (科乐美软件（上海）有限公司): Established in June 2000.
- Konami Digital Entertainment Co. (주식회사 코나미 디지털 엔터테인먼트): South Korea-based game producer and distributor, originally established as the Korea branch of Konami Digital Entertainment Limited. On 2008-05-01, it became a separate company, and inherited the existing operations of the former Korea branch in 2008-06-?.
On November 7, 2005, Konami Corporation officially announced restructuring Konami Corporation into a holding company, by moving its Japanese Digital Entertainment Business segment under Konami Corporation. The Digital Entertainment Business would become Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. The newly established Konami Corporation was expected to begin operation on March 31, 2006.
Konami Digital Entertainment
Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. (株式会社コナミデジタルエンタテインメント, Kabushiki-gaisha Konami Dejitaru Entateinmento) is Konami's Japanese video game development and publishing division founded on March 31, 2006. Before Konami Corporation had formally changed to a holding company in 2006, various forms of Konami Digital Entertainment companies had been established either as holding company or publisher. The last of the company, the Japan-based Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd., was split from Konami Corporation during the holding company restructuring process.
- Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.: Japanese division, established on 2006-03-31.
- Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.: North American division, established on 2003-10-13.
- Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH: European division, established on 2003-04-01.
- Konami Digital Entertainment Limited: Hong Kong division. Established in September 1994 as Konami (Hong Kong) Limited. In March 2006, it was renamed to Konami Digital Entertainment Limited.
- KME Co., Ltd (KME Corporation): music division established on 2010-10-01.
On December 16, 2004, Konami Corporation announced Konami Online, Inc., Konami Computer Entertainment Studios, Inc., Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, Inc., Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, Inc. would merge into Konami Corporation, effective on March 1, 2005.
On February 22, 2005, Konami Corporation announced Konami Media Entertainment, Inc. would merge into Konami Corporation, effective on March 1, 2005. On March 11, 2005, Konami Corporation announced Konami Traumer, Inc would be merged back into Konami Corporation, effective on June 1, 2005.
On January 5, 2006, Konami Corporation announced the merger of Konami Sports Corporation merged with its parent company, Konami Sports Life Corporation. The parent would be dissolved under the merger, and Konami Sports would become the wholly owned subsidiary of Konami Corporation after share exchange between KC and KS. After the share exchange, KS would be renamed Konami Sports & Life Co., Ltd. On February 28, 2006, Konami Sports Corporation merged with its parent company, Konami Sports Life Corporation, and became Konami Sports Corporation.
On September 21, 2010, Konami Corporation announced it has signed an agreement to acquire with Abilit Corporation via share exchange. After the transaction, Abilit Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of Konami Corporation, effective January 1, 2011. On January 1, 2011, Abilit Corporation was renamed to Takasago Electric Industry Co.,Ltd. As part of the acquisition, Biz Share Corporation also became a subsidiary of Konami Corporation.
Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, (aka KCET, KCE Tokyo, Konami TYO, and Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo Co., Ltd.) is a former subsidiary of Konami Corporation. Konami absorbed KCET along with several of its other subsidiaries in 2005. KCET was a Tokyo-based game developer responsible for many of Konami's most notable video game franchises, including Pro Evolution Soccer/Winning Eleven, Castlevania, Dance Dance Revolution, Gradius and Silent Hill.
Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
Konami JPN Ltd., formerly Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (KCEJ), is a video game developer and subsidiary of Konami Corporation, located in Tokyo.
The development house has worked on titles for a wide variety of platforms, ranging from Game Boy to PlayStation. KCEJ is split into two different development teams, located in two offices in Tokyo. KCEJ East developed 7 Blades as well as many dating sims for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Game Boy. KCEJ West is known for the best-selling Metal Gear Solid series, as well as the Beatmania and GuitarFreaks series.
On October 2, 2006, Konami Corporation announced it had completed the acquisition of mobile phone content developer Megacyber Corporation.
On February 6, 2007, Konami Corporation announced Megacyber Corporation to be merged into Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd., with Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. being the surviving company, effective on April 1, 2007.
Distribution of Konami's games in Australia
Since the NES was released in Australia in 1987, Konami's games were distributed by Mattel Australia, just like the NES was. In 1994 when Nintendo Co., Ltd opened Nintendo Australia Pty Ltd, Konami's products were distributed by Nintendo Australia until GT Interactive (Infogrames) Australia was opened when they took over the distribution. GT Interactive then turned into Infogrames Australia and then Atari Australia. In early November, it was announced that Konami of Europe had granted exclusive distribution of its games in Australia to Red Ant Enterprises and was to commence distribution with them in February 2009. In early January 2009, Red Ant Enterprises went into receivership and closed down completely on May 2009, and Konami of Europe was quick to re-sign with Atari Australia after the announcement of their closure in January 2009.
Major titles by Konami include the vampire-hunting side scroller Castlevania series, the survival horror Silent Hill series, the action/shooter Contra series, the platform/adventure Ganbare Goemon series, the espionage action Metal Gear series, the console role-playing Suikoden series, the music-oriented Bemani series (which includes Dance Dance Revolution, Beatmania IIDX, GuitarFreaks, DrumMania, and Pop'n Music, among others), Dancing with the Stars, the dating simulation Tokimeki Memorial series, and football simulation Pro Evolution Soccer.
Konami also produced its shoot 'em up arcade games such as Gradius, Life Force, Time Pilot, Gyruss, Parodius, Axelay, and TwinBee. Konami's games based on cartoon licenses, especially the Batman: The Animated Series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs series, but other American productions like The Simpsons, Bucky O'Hare, G.I. Joe, X-Men and The Goonies and French comic Asterix all have seen release at some point in the past by Konami either on arcades and/or video game consoles.
Some cinematically styled franchises from Konami are Silent Hill survival horror franchise, and the Metal Gear series, which underwent a public renaissance with Metal Gear Solid. Another successful franchise is Winning Eleven, the spiritual sequel to International Superstar Soccer, which is extremely popular in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Europe, where it is sold by the name Pro Evolution Soccer. And in Japan, it is known for the extremely popular Jikkyō Powerful Pro Yakyū series baseball series and the Zone of the Enders games. The company has also recently picked up Saw from Brash Entertainment when the game's production had been suspended due to financial issues.
Konami is represented by the goroawase 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 like Dance Dance Revolution, (which also featured songs with a max combo of the number) as an example; in some other games like Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, the number is occasionally used as minor self-reference to the company.
In 2003, Konami started distributing game contents for mobile phones to Vodafone's customers in 13 European countries, including Britain, Germany, and Italy.
Criticism and controversy
Silent Hills and reduced video game development
Silent Hills, set to be the ninth installment of the Silent Hill franchise, was abruptly cancelled on April 2015 without explanation despite the critical acclaim and success of P.T., a playable teaser. Hours after the announcement, Konami delisted itself from the New York Stock Exchange.
Game co-director and writer Guillermo del Toro publicly criticized the cancellation as not making any sense and questioned what he described as a "scorched earth" approach to removing the trailer. Due to the experience, del Toro stated that he would never work on another video game.
Konami's CEO, Hideki Hayakawa, announced that – with few exceptions – Konami would stop making console games and instead focus on the mobile gaming platform, a decision that was heavily criticized by the video gaming community. However, Konami UK's community manager, Graham Day, has denied the claims that it was exiting the console industry.
On March 3, 2015, Konami announced they would be shifting focus away from individual studios, notably Kojima Productions. Internal sources claimed the restructure was due to a clash between Hideo Kojima and Konami. References to Hideo Kojima were soon stripped from marketing material, and Kojima's position as an executive vice president of Konami Digital Entertainment was removed from the company's official listing of executives.
Later that year, Konami's legal department barred Hideo Kojima from accepting the award for Best Action-Adventure for his work on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at The Game Awards 2015. When announced during the event, the audience booed in disapproval of Konami's actions. Host Geoff Keighley expressed his disappointment in Konami's actions. After actor Kiefer Sutherland accepted the award in Kojima's stead, a choir sang Quiet's Theme from The Phantom Pain as a tribute to the absent Kojima. Kojima left Konami several days afterwards, re-opening Kojima Productions as an independent company.
Treatment of employees and ex-employees
In August 2015, The Nikkei criticized Konami for its unethical treatment of employees. In June 2017, The Nikkei further reported of Konami's continued clashes with Kojima Productions, preventing the studio's application for health insurance, as well as Konami's actions in making it difficult for former employees to get future jobs; they are notably forbidden to mention their work in Konami on their résumés. Konami also started filing complaints against other game companies that would hire ex-Konami employees, leading to an unspecified major game company warning its staff against doing so. A former employee of Konami stated: "If an ex-[Konami employee] is interviewed by the media, the company will send that person a letter through a legal representative, in some cases indicating that Konami is willing to take them to court"; they also pressured an ex-employee into closing their new business.
- Treasure – an independent video game company founded by former Konami employees
- Good-Feel – another independent video game company founded by former Konami employees
- Ultra Games
- List of Konami games
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- Konami Annual Report: 2002, 2003,2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. Contains summarized history of the company
- Konami Group History