Konami has announced last financial year (April 2021 to March 2022) was the most profitable in the company’s history. The Japanese publisher posted an operating profit of 74.4 billion yen, or about $577 million, and a net profit of 54.8 billion yen, or about $425 million.
While some believe Konami is no longer making games and is basically a pinball business, financial results suggest otherwise. The truth, however, is that many of Konami’s greatest successes either didn’t take place in the West, or largely went unnoticed by their captive audiences.
For example, a recent big hit was Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel, which was released on Steam in January. This F2P game has amassed over 30 million players and will no doubt continue to be popular for many years to come. But Konami’s Momotaro Dentetsu was also a huge success, only available on Switch in Japan, selling over 3.5 million (it’s a long-running series that started out as a HudsonSoft syndication, basically a joy of train station board game).
Financially, Konami divides its business into digital entertainment (home video games), entertainment (here it has pinball machines and arcade games like Beatmania), sports (it operates leisure centers in Japan), and rather confusing games and systems (Casino software). Of Konami’s 299.5 billion yen in revenue this fiscal year, 215 billion yen came from digital entertainment and 19.5 billion yen came from entertainment. There’s no clearer language than money, which means that 72% of Konami’s revenue comes from video games.
To make this clear, Konami released 18 video games during the fiscal year, some of which doubled on mobile and PC/console. Home Champions: Super Bomberman R Online; eBaseball Pro Yakyuu Spirits 2022: Grand Slam; Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel: Battle Royale Dawn! ! ; Beat Arena Konasute; Castlevania Premium Collection; Electronic Football 2022; Tokimeki Memorial: Girl’s Side 4th Heart; Dance Dance Revolution Grand Prix Konasute; Power Pro-Kun Pocket R; Sound Voltex Exceed Gear Konasute; Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel; GetsuFumaDen: Immortal Moon.
Mobile Games: jubeat; Anti-reward; Castlevania: Tome of Souls (iOS); Electronic Football 2022; Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel; Eden Zero Pocket Galaxy.
All of this to say: Konami has been a bit of a monster in the West since the split of the island, but a lot of what has been said about it is straightforward. Granted, it seems less interested in bringing certain titles to Western audiences than other big Japanese publishers. But it’s not just sitting there making pinball machines.
While this may be wishful thinking, another notable factor in these financial results is that Konami has repeatedly called Metal Gear one of its biggest franchises. Financial figures include a note that the Metal Gear Solid series has sold 58.3 million units, making it Konami’s second-highest-selling series after Winning Eleven/eFootball. Given today’s apparent Silent Hill leak, and how aggressive Konami is going after it, this may not be the only classic series with a future.