Saturday, May 26, 2018

Gaming Ads: Konami of America

Konami was founded by Kagemasa Kozuki on March 21, 1969, though Konami's website doesn't say what the original name was or where it was located. He founded his company on the date mentioned but it was on March 19, 1973 that Konami Industry was established at which time it began manufacturing amusement machines for arcades ("Industry" was dropped from the name in 1991). In 1982 Konami entered the computer business and also established Konami of America. Divisions were opened in the U.K. and Germany in 1984, at which time Konami also began developing games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

It was in arcades and on the NES that Konami became a major games developer and publisher. Some of its best known early arcade games, many of which also appear on game consoles, include Frogger, Time Pilot, Track & Field, Yie Ar Kung-Fu, and Gradius. Konami is also responsible for many popular series, such as Contra, Castlevania, Dance Dance Revolution, and Metal Gear, and arcade hits based on other properties, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) and X-Men.

Jumping ahead to 2006, Konami became a holding company and established Konami Digital Entertainment to manage the home entertainment business. Konami is still in business today under the name it took in 2006 and in 2012 it absorbed Hudson Entertainment. Hideo Kojima, who was responsible for the Metal Gear series, had a falling out with Konami in 2015 that was well publicized and since then the company's focus has been shifting primarily toward gambling machines as it has dramatically scaled back on home video games.

It still releases an annual soccer game (Pro Evolution Soccer or PES, formerly known as Winning Eleven), though it recently dropped the UEFA license. There are also the random digital releases, some of which are based on old Hudson properties or Yu-Gi-Oh!. There was another Metal Gear game released this year too though Kojima was obviously not involved and it's always possible Silent Hill could return with a new game or remaster which is what the upcoming Zone of the Enders is. However, for the most part, Konami is no longer one of the big publishers in video games.

I should point out that ads related to Konami will appear again much later when I post ads for Ultra Games. Ultra was a subsidiary of Konami from 1988-1992 that was created to get around Nintendo's publishing limits. I've got a Metal Gear ad and a bunch of TMNT ads in the Ultra group. A few Ultra Games releases did sneak into Konami though as part of the multi-game ads. Although I gave all the Acclaim mixed brand ads a separate folder, I'm going to leave these in Konami as there are only two companies here and very few ads.

Flickr album: Konami of America

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