Konami announced that its final financial year (April 2021 to March 2022) was the most profitable in the company’s history by far. The Japanese publisher’s operating income was ¥74.4 billion, which translates to approximately US$577 million, and its net income was ¥54.8 billion or about US$425 million.
Despite the perception by some that Konami no longer makes games and is primarily a pachinko business, financial results show the opposite. What is true, however, is that many of Konami’s biggest hits don’t come to the West, or go unnoticed outside their captive audience.
A recent big hit, for example, is Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel, which launched on Steam in January. This F2P game has already amassed over 30 million players and will undoubtedly continue for many years to come. But Konami has also had great success with Momtaro Dentetsu, which is only available on Switch in Japan, and has sold over 3.5 million (this is a long-running series, originally a spin-off from HudsonSoft, which is basically a game of merry board about train stations).
Within finance, Konami divides its business into Digital Entertainment (home games), Entertainment (here are pachinko machines as well as arcade games like Beatmania), Sports (run leisure centers in Japan) and, rather confusingly, , Gaming & Systems (casino software). Of Konami’s 299.5 billion yen in revenue this financial year, 215 billion yen is from Digital Entertainment and 19.5 billion yen from Amusement. There’s no clearer language than money, and that means 72% of Konami’s revenue comes from video games.
Just to emphasize the point, Konami has released 18 video games over the course of this financial year, admittedly some of them doubling across mobile and PC/console. House titles: Super Bomberman R Online; eBaseball Pro Yakyuu Spirits 2022: Grand Slam; Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel: Dawn of the Battle Royale!!; Win the Konasute Arena; Castlevania Advance Collection; eFootball 2022; Tokimeki Memorial: 4th Heart on the Girl’s Side; Dance Dance Revolution Grand Prix Konasute; Power Pro-Kun Pocket R; Voltex Exceed Gear Konasute Sound; Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel; GetsuFumaDen: Immortal Moon.
Mobile games: jubeat; Against Returns; Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls (iOS); eFootball 2022; Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel; Pocket Galaxy Edens Zero.
All of this is to say: Konami has had a bit of a monster in the West since Kojima’s split, but a lot of the things said about it are simply untrue. Admittedly, it seems to be less interested in bringing some of its titles to Western audiences than other major Japanese publishers. But it’s not just sitting there churning out pachinko machines.
Another notable element in these financial results, although this is likely wishful thinking, is that Konami references Metal Gear multiple times as one of its biggest franchises. Financials include a note that the Metal Gear series sold 58.3 million units, making it Konami’s second best-selling series after Winning Eleven/eFootball. Given today’s apparent Silent Hill leak and Konami’s aggression in pursuing it, this might not be the only classic series that has a future.