After seeing Konami’s pre-E3 show, it looks like the company is in for a good year. While they have had more to offer in the previous two years, at least one of them were all that the public was going to get in terms of an E3 presence (at least in terms of press conferences). So there might be more at revealed at E3. Even if there’s not, there is going to be a little something for everyone in terms of products from mobile, fantasy sports, actual sports, and two of highly influential franchises. First two big announcements that were brought up at the start.
- Konami’s 40 years old. The show started off with Tomoyuki Tsuboi, president of Konami Digital Entertainment, America, saying that it was Konami’s 40th anniversary since opening. Wow. Forty years, that’s quite an achievement, especially through the economic downturns of the 1980s and 2000s. Well done and don’t screw it up. Continue making good games and you might last another 40.
- Dance Dance Revolution: Classroom Edition. Yup. That’s right. Teaming up with educators, Konami made a version of DDR for schools. It’s a pretty good idea since it does get the players moving and it’s a nice way to try to get to have some more legitimacy in educational settings. And it has successfully been integrated into physical education classes around the United States.
But enough of the older, notable announcements from Konami. Let’s move onto the new stuff.
- MLB Dream Nine (Mobile). There’s more working being done and it has now also been ported from a facebook game to an iOS game for fans on the go. More content is forthcoming for the 2013 season.
- Puzzle Chasers. It’s been around for a while, but the game, currently co-published with Zynga, has reached over 2 million unique users.
- More support for independent developers. Konami is trying to expand their independent developer portfolio. The independent publishing program is set up so that the independent developers looking to make it on the iOS or Android Market can have some help. Basically, it sounds like the company’s trying to pay it forward, which is pretty cool. One company taking advantage of this service is Kung Fu Factory with Domo Jump to be released soon.
- MLB Live Challenge. Another baseball game is coming to Facebook and iOS. It mixes light fantasy baseball mechanics and team management. More details to come at E3.
- OCDS (Orange County Development Studio) was announced last year. They’re working on making Konami’s inroads into social casino apps. Some times that were teased with an image were Slots Revolution: A Hero’s Journey and Casino League Texas Hold ’em. More details to come at E3.
- PES 2014 is getting a hell of a facelift. Based in an adaptation off the Fox engine, a new engine, named Fluidity, arose specifically for the game. It was designed to capture the fullest essence of soccer at its most fluid moments. The some of the core design tenets listed were TrueBall Tech (how the players move factoring in ball control, weight shift, center of gravity and line of gravity), M.A.S.S. (the physics of body contact), and Heart (dynamics of things like home field advantage including team morale and player motivation). More detail will be announced in the near future.
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. More details were released on next MGS game and it sounds like it has a pretty bright future, which is ironic since it’s supposed to be pretty dark in terms of themes and execution. For one thing, Hideo Kojima has been looking to get a more subtle performance, which could also lead to more economical writing and dialogue. We also now know who is the new voice of Snake. 24 fans rejoice. Kiefer Sutherland is the voice of Snake. While Sutherland admits not being a gamer, he said that he knows the relevance of the series. And if it’s any indication, Kojima said that he is happy with the quality of the work Sutherland is putting into the character. And the game is designed to be more open world than previous chapters.
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. OK. I’ve played pretty much all the past games in the franchise and this one really kind of floored me with the announcement. For the first time, you’re playing Dracula himself. You’re not playing someone who will become Dracula or an apprentice or a priest or an average monster slayer. Taking place after directly after the epilogue of Lords of Shadow, you’re playing as Gabriel Belmont, now Dracula as the forces of Satan are about to rise up. So it’s the king of vampires against the king of the underworld. Oh and it’s also being in a modern day city, with an open world design.
As said earlier, it looks like 2013 and 2014 are going to be good years for Konami fans, as long as nothing goes wrong. Also, there might be more details and/or games revealed at E3, so just keep following our coverage. To watch the full show for yourself, check in with Konami.