Konami’s Digital Entertainment business – which includes “mobile games, computer and video games and card games” – not only propped up Konami’s financial year amid the pandemic, but drove it to record-high profits.
In the company’s latest earnings release, Konami makes clear that many of its business segments (including casino gaming, sports clubs, and amusements) suffered major drops in revenue due to lockdowns and the societal effects of the pandemic. However, as we’ve seen across the industry, at-home gaming saw a huge boost, with Konami’s Digital Entertainment division seeing revenue and profits grow substantially.
In the nine months ending December 31, the Digital Entertainment division saw a 33.1% growth in total revenue and a 75.3% growth in profit, year-on-year. The earnings release explains, “Thus, business profit, operating profit and profit before income tax of Konami Group for the nine months ended December 31, 2020 have all reached a record high.” This comes despite the fact that Konami Group as a whole saw a drop of 0.6% in total revenue.
Much has been made in recent years of Konami’s shift away from core video game development, favouring mobile and casino gaming. While mobile gaming undoubtedly played a major part in the company’s recent success, Konami points to the console releases of multiple Pro Evolution Soccer games, as well as the Japan-only release of the latest Momotaro Dentetsu game (a series of digital board games), which shipped 2.5 million copies as of January 2021. Looking forward, Konami points to the release of Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel for Nintendo Switch and a game adaptation of sci-fi manga Edens Zero.
The Digital Entertainment division’s success is interesting in light of Konami’s recent restructure. The company recently announced that it will dissolve its three Production Divisions, leading some to speculate that the company would no longer produce games. Konami denied that idea, telling IGN that it was in fact made to allow games to be made more efficiently at the company.
It remains to be seen whether Konami will return to more regular code video game development, but it has announced that PES 2022 will be made using Unreal Engine, and set up a western game publishing division. Last year, reports spread saying that Konami was working on two new Silent Hill games, but Konami denied the assertions. “It’s not to say we are completely closing the door on the franchise, just not in the way it is being reported,” said a spokesperson.