It’s no secret that Konami is one of the biggest gaming companies in the world today. Their IP includes Metal Gear Solid , Silent Hill , Castlevania , Contra , and many, many more top tier franchises. As a major entity with billions of dollars at their disposal, Konami is fully aware of the wider trends sweeping across the world today. For this reason, they have opted to go on a major recruitment drive to acquire individuals with expertise in the realms of Web3 and metaverse tech! Does this mean that Konami is looking to build their own metaverse in a bid to impress fans and secure their place in the world of the future? Let’s dig in and find out!
A Stalwart of Digital Entertainment
Konami has been around for well over 5 decades now. After its establishment in 1969, the Japanese gaming company released their first coin-operated arcade game in 1978. Just one year later, they began exporting products to the United States. Since then, Konami has expanded its operations and, as of March 2019, now owns 22 consolidated subsidiaries around the world. While they may not be the biggest gaming company in the world, they are way up there and arguably have some of the best IP ever conceived.
It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for Konami though. Back in 2015, the gaming giant had a major fallout with the legendary Hideo Kojima , the veritable video game auteur behind the Metal Gear franchise. Konami even went as far as to bar Kojima from accepting the award for Best Action-Adventure for his contributions to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at The Game Awards 2015. Needless to say, fans didn’t take this very well and booed Konami when the award was announced. Since the fallout, Kojima has worked through his own studio, Kojima Productions , and focused on his own popular IP, Death Stranding .
So I’m not saying that Konami is necessarily the nicest or most ethical lot around, and while they did my man Hideo wrong, it’s hard to deny that they’ve had a profound influence on the gaming world as a whole. While I’m not excusing their questionable actions, they are still major players in the space with some absolutely incredible IP. While I don’t think Konami will ever fail to be relevant, it’s clear that they’re taking active steps to prepare for the future and ensure that they are ready to deal with the changes that will take place over the next decade or so. Judging by how much focus and investment is going into Web3 and metaverse tech, it’s safe to say that the biggest players are most definitely paying attention.
Moving Towards Web3 and the Metaverse
In a recent press release , Konami announced that they are now in the process of actively recruiting personnel for the development of Web3 and metaverse tech. And yes, this means that Konami will be working to integrate just about everything that Web3 encompasses, most notably blockchain and NFTs.
While it’s not entirely clear what Konami’ long-term strategy, the press release does include this line:
We have been conducting research and development to incorporate the latest technology into games and contents, and plan to launch a service where players can trade their in-game NFTs (digital items) through a unique distribution platform using blockchain.
This seems to suggest that Konami will be setting up an NFT marketplace of some kind in the not-too-distant future. If true, that’s pretty huge news. Konami has millions of fans and followers, and by adopting Web3 tech and allowing users to trade NFTs on an open online marketplace, we could soon see a massive influx of newcomers to the world of NFTs. As you can well imagine, not everyone is too happy about this news…
“But wait, that Twitter post is from January 2022!” Yes, you’re right. That’s because this latest announcement isn’t actually Konami’s first foray into the world of NFTs. As it turns out, Konami released an NFT collection to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Castlevania all the way back in January this year. Despite the fact that some fans were not too enthused by this development, it looks like the collection has actually done pretty well…and I gotta admit, it’s pretty cool to hear Bloody Tears in NFTs!
You can check out the Castlevania 35th Anniversary NFTs on their official OpenSea page
It’s clear that Konami are more than just a little intrigued by NFTs and Web3 as a whole. I think it’s safe to assume that the Castlevania NFT collection was a litmus test to determine the viability of integrating NFTs into their wider value proposition, and from this latest development, I would conclude that they were pleased with the results. Again, while Konami are far from angelic, I have to admit that I’m excited to see what they build and how it’s received by their existing audience. At this point, I anticipate that opinions will be divided but that the majority of the narrative will boil down to “Ew, NFTs bad! Don’t support! Terrible move!” But who knows? Maybe I’m wrong…
Will Konami Enter the Metaverse?
While the press release specifically mentions the Metaverse, it seems to contain details that would suggest the development of an NFT marketplace. Does that mean Konami isn’t planning to enter the Metaverse? I doubt it. I have a sneaking suspicion that once the necessary talent has been acquired and development reaches a certain point, we’ll hear more updates soon enough. Until then, we’ll have to sit tight and see exactly what it is that Konami has planned.
It’s also interesting to note that Konami just released information about updates for the Silent Hill franchise that are due to be revealed during the Silent Hill Transmission that will take place on Wednesday, October 19th at 11 PM CEST:
While most fans believe this to be an announcement for a new Silent Hill game, others have speculated that it may in fact have something to do with NFTs (or potentially both)? I somehow don’t think the announcement will be about anything Web3-related, and if any mention of NFTs or Web3 is made, I think it’ll be more of an aside than the main focus. But Konami have done some surprising things in the past, so maybe it really does have something to do with an NFT marketplace or collection. I guess we’ll find out soon!
So what do you think of Konami’s move to hire Web3 and metaverse personnel? Is this a great move on their part? Or are they just buying in to a fad? Let us know your thoughts!