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In a time long ago, Konami used to make some rather amazing video games. The Japan-based studio was founded back in 1969 as a jukebox rental and repair business. The company slowly entered into the creation and distribution of video games in the late 70s. A lot of Konami's earliest releases were done through arcades, but once home gaming consoles started to arrive, they made the jump in force.

Konami started out with a bang on systems such as the MSX, PC, NES, and more. They brought over some of their most popular arcade franchises, such as Frogger, to great success on these home consoles. From there, they only continued to expand their popularity with an ever-growing library of titles. Games like Metal Gear started to appear in the late 80s alongside other familiar names like Snatcher and Contra.

In recent years, Konami has quickly started to move away from the development of video games. This all began in early to mid-April 2015 after Konami delisted itself from the New York Stock Exchange and dissolution of their Kojima Productions subsidiary. Shortly after these events in May 2015, Konami said that they were shifting their focus to mobile gaming. Even with this shift, the studio's video game output for their major franchises came to a near standstill.

Instead, Konami's main focus in recent years has been on the development and release of pachinko machines and slot machines. While this may not appease many gamers out there, those who are fans of gambling, especially at N1 Casinos, are probably quite thrilled about this shift in focus from the fallen developer.

While the future of Konami's video game output remains uncertain, it seems like a great time to take a look back at some of the studio's biggest game franchises. With any luck, we'll see new entries in some of these franchises again at some point in the future.


Pro Evolution Soccer

For several years, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) was one of the largest football games released in the world. It often surpassed sales of EA's FIFA franchise, with many fans preferring this sports sim over the competition.

These days, PES is nowhere to be seen. A small part of it does live on in eFootball 2022. However, this free-to-play football game isn't exactly making many fans. It presently sits at an Overwhelmingly Negative user score on Steam. Several people who have tried out eFootball 2022 have said that they were going to stick to older PES titles.


Metal Gear

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These days, the Metal Gear franchise is easily one of the most well-known releases from Konami. The series dates back to 1987 and follows the story of Solid Snake, his father Big Boss, his surrogate mother Eva, his twin brother Liquid Snake, the severed arm of Liquid Snake, a guy named Revolver Ocelot who was also known as Adam and Shalashaska, and Liquid Ocelot, Solid's brother Solidus Snake, and a whole bunch of genetically modified soldiers.

Though the story is often outlandish and a little difficult to follow, the gameplay in the Metal Gear games more than made up for whatever shortcomings any of the games may have had. The series more than defined the idea of "tactical espionage action" and has won countless awards over the years.

The franchise was created and developed by Kojima Productions, a subsidiary of Konami that was dissolved in 2015. Studio lead, Hideo Kojima, later went on to form his own development studio, also named Kojima Productions. This studio released the well-received Death Stranding in 2019.


Silent Hill

It can be argued that there is no greater psychological horror franchise in the world than the Silent Hill games. For years, these games remained the de facto horror experience that even those who weren't fans of horror games absolutely needed to play.

The franchise was so popular that it spawned two major film releases, a few spin-off titles, and more. Though the later games in the series drastically declined in popularity and quality, the potential revival of the franchise, showcased in a "playable teaser" otherwise known as P.T., once again gave fans hope for the return of the horror king. Sadly, Konami cancelled this project along with the hopes of every Silent Hill fan.


Castlevania

In 1986, the first Castlevania game was released for the NES. Like several other Konami franchises, Castlevania has managed to withstand the test of time. The game and many of its sequels has seen life across several different gaming platforms over the past several decades.

The game, along with Metroid, helped to create what is affectionately known as the "Metroidvania" style of game, which sees the player returning to earlier parts of the game world after they have learned new moves later in the game. This style of gameplay allows the player to reach new locales and earn new items in areas that they have already passed through. Though most of the Castlevania games were 2D in nature, the series did make a relatively successful jump to 3D with a Nintendo 64 game and then later on with the Lords of Shadow series.

Though no new Castlevania games have come out for several years, the series did see some fresh life as a popular Netflix animated series. The animated series saw at four seasons that ran from 2017 through 2021.

Unfortunately, these aren't the only lost relics from Konami's past. As we mentioned, Frogger will probably never get a new release. Other titles such as Bomberman and Contra are also lost in the ether. Konami also owns the rights to the Yu-Gi-Oh! Games. It's honestly a shame that Konami decided to steer away from creating more entries in their most memorable game franchises. If we ever want to see new games in a number of Konami series that we used to love, we either have to hope Konami changes their mind again or another company purchases the rights to these properties.