The Current State of Konami

A place to post news and also give your ideas about the future of the Suikoden series.
Please justify all speculations with reasons why you think such an event could happen.
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Xelinis
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The Current State of Konami

Postby Xelinis » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:01 am

A few minutes ago, I finished watching the latest Jimquisition on The Escapist. In this one, he focused on the current state of Konami, their questionable marketing decisions (or lack thereof), and general sloppiness.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... 524-Konami

While I think that there are a lot of points, both good and bad, that he skipped over, I think he's hitting the nail on the head here. Something's rotten at Konami, and the damage extends beyond MGS, Silent Hill, and even our beloved Suikoden. They have the talent, they have the resources, but what I'm beginning to see is that their executives just don't understand their fan bases nor the game industry as a whole, despite how well-intentioned they may be. With the frightening advent of HD gaming, they've stepped back and have adopted a low-risk, high-reward strategy with an implementation where everyone is losing.

Konami has lost its vigor, they've become afraid to take chances on new and creative IPs and, when they do, they're perfectly fine with releasing an unfinished product. (See Neverdead.) With older IPs, they've resorting to dumbing the properties down to make it more appealing to the mainstream crowd. And most of all, they release the games and just expect them to sell. I have never seen such an ineptitude in marketing from a company of such a size.

Again, there are a lot of good and bad points that Jim glossed over. But at the end of it all, I think he's asking the right question: What is going on at Konami?

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patapi
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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby patapi » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:08 am

How is it low-risk, high-reward if everyone is losing, and no one gets rewarded? That's an oxymoron.

And I fail to see why appealing to the mainstream is bad. "Hardcore" is and should be a thing of the past.

As I said in the other topic, if the fanbase is truly unhappy with what has been happening, go and muster enough funds for an actual corporate takeover. And then we'll see if you could fare better.

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Pyriel
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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby Pyriel » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:34 am

A strategy can be low-risk, high-reward, even if it fails. From an odds perspective, buying a lottery ticket is a risky proposition, but it only costs a buck and the potential reward is staggering. So you risk little money, with the thought of reaping huge benefits. If the business strategy is to cut every corner and never take chances, and to maximize profit from shoddy output by appealing to the broadest possible crowd, then it fits.

The old, "if you think you know better, why don't you try it" gambit is still childish. You disagree with the critics, and that's fine. There's no need to set before them an impossible set of tasks they need to accomplish just to convert you, or to get you to respect their opinions.

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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby LanceHeart » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:41 pm

I'm pretty sure Konami is focusing on its other divisions now. They still have quite the foothold in electronic gambling machines and trading cards, which don't seem to be afflicted by the same problems their video game division seems to be facing.

Not that it really matters, though. Either Konami will run itself into the ground (look at their two-game publishing partnership with tri-Ace: both sold half and a quarter of Suikoden PSPs own units) or they'll wake up and finally acknowledge that they have valuable IPs that can actually sell in an above average fashion if they actually put effort into removing the tarnish from their brand.

We can't fix Konami from the outside and shouldn't encourage their lackluster work by blindly buying half-efforts. Either they do it themselves or they'll give up.

patapi wrote:How is it low-risk, high-reward if everyone is losing, and no one gets rewarded? That's an oxymoron.

Yep, that's an oxymoron. However, the main point is that Konami is short-changing its efforts and seeing progressively smaller profits from it. By creating and/or outsourcing games that end up being sub-par, they're hurting their customer confidence and lowering their potential fan base for their future releases.

The simplest (and most appropriate) case of this would be Suikoden. Konami seems to consider Tierkreis and 100 Years as main entries in the franchise, being released on the 3-4 year "main game" cycle, yet they are starting to see spinoff-level sales and revenue. Tierkreis sold only a sliver less than Suikoden V, but 100 Years is well on its way to selling only two thirds of that. If the next game continues the trend, it has a very real chance of selling less copies than Rhapsodia.

Konami basically eroded its own fan base by creating those two games and has very likely irreparably damaged the brand. It may be damaged to the point where it will never be on consoles ever again, regardless of whether they decide to use the "original world" and traditional style from the first five games to attract older fans.
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Xelinis
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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby Xelinis » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:28 pm

I said that their implementation of their low-risk, high reward strategy is where everyone is losing. They chose to make their current IPs more accessible and their new IPs very casual. So far, the former has only proved to frustrate their current fan bases and and latter just haven't caught on at all.

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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby Alestes » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:54 pm

That was interesting to watch, thanks for the link :)

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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby Futch » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:28 am

Maybe we don't need a corporate takeover. If we can get enough voices together and make it clear we'd pay for a Suikoden VI, if we made a big enough PR statement, maybe we could get their attention. These games mean too much to me to resign myself to never getting another (In the main world, I want that story resolved so bad), and I know it means just as much to so many of you. I just refuse to believe there's nothing we can do to show them how badly we want it.

Wouldn't it be great if big companies used Kickstarter? We could pre-order the game before it was even started, and once they reach their budget, they'd set to work, and if they didn't, we'd get a full refund. IMO all creative business ventures should be done this way.

Seriously. What can we do?
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Alestes
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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby Alestes » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:29 am

Futch wrote:Maybe we don't need a corporate takeover. If we can get enough voices together and make it clear we'd pay for a Suikoden VI, if we made a big enough PR statement, maybe we could get their attention. These games mean too much to me to resign myself to never getting another (In the main world, I want that story resolved so bad), and I know it means just as much to so many of you. I just refuse to believe there's nothing we can do to show them how badly we want it.

I agree, but here lies the big problem. To gather all the Suikoden fans together to create a collective voice that is loud enough. There are Suikoden fans all over the globe, but we are all shattered among various forms and different facebook groups and whatnot. If all these could go together into one large collective, it would be great and very hard to Konami to ignore (or so I belive).

But right now all I think Konami see are a few vocal individuals on their Facebook page, and that's kinda it. Minor enough for their Facebook manager to just ignore it and not bother to report it further to the higher-ups.

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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby LanceHeart » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:17 pm

I guess the best proof that we're a very small voice and fanbase came from their E3 popularity contest. It pretty much proved that Metal Gear Solid is the only non-sports franchise they have that actually has a substantial and vocal following.
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Futch
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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby Futch » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:41 pm

We ARE a small fanbase, which is undesirable from a profit driven mindset, but I have NEVER known a more dedicated or passionate fanbase, and I take part in quite a few fandoms. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that Suikoden means more to them than any other work of fiction.

Maybe what we should do is organize a sort of publicity campaign? Just try to get more people aware of Suikoden and how amazing it is, maybe let them know that the first game is available for English speaking PSN users for $5, and that both one AND two are available for Japanese users. Find links to the games being sold on Amazon and ebay and drawing attention to them. Maybe even go into our local game dealers and telling them how much we love Suikoden and make it clear we're willing to buy more of them.

We could draw more attention to Suikosource. Maybe the admins here would be willing to take part, run some promotions, revamp the site or make a way for us to provide more content. Maybe there could be a fundraiser for Suikosource to take out ad space with project wonderful (not for profit, of course, just to draw the eye to Suikoden).

Then, once we've got more people into the series, or brought them back, as the case may be, we could put together a petition for anyone and everyone who wants to see Suikoden returned to its former glory. If we present enough names to Konami (Hell, I'll fly to Japan and hand them the names in person!), they'll remember Suikoden, and they'll see the lengths we're willing to go to support the franchise. At the very least, that might get us some answers. An interview. SOMETHING.

Maybe I'm just a dreamer.
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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby freshmetal » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:32 pm

You know things are bad when you go to the official North American Konami website, type "Suikoden" into the search bar, and it tells you "no results found". :?
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AlOnZo
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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby AlOnZo » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:49 pm

freshmetal wrote:You know things are bad when you go to the official North American Konami website, type "Suikoden" into the search bar, and it tells you "no results found". :?


Same in Europe. Absolute joke.

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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby LanceHeart » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:49 am

I guess I lost hope when Konami let that Genso Suikoden trademark die a couple of years back. All they needed to do is email the patent/trademark office back and say "yes, we confirm that we want this trademark" and it would be theirs. Hell, they apply for thousands of Yu Gi Oh! trademarks every year and never forget to follow through with those, so them completely ignoring and killing off a "Genso Suikoden" was completely disheartening.
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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby Antimatzist » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:00 am

Konami is going to change their structure in Europe:
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/36 ... ers-to-uk/

Basically, they will move their HQ to England, but the local offices in Germany, France, Spain and England will remain and will focus more on fan-contact and the like. Well, I don't know if that will have any effect or is just preparation to shut down all local offices.. we'll see.

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Re: The Current State of Konami

Postby LanceHeart » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:00 pm

All that says to me is that they're refocusing on the English-speaking world. While not a big problem for me, it's definitely a cause for concern for all other countries in the EU.
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