|Founded||March 21, 1969|
|Headquarters||Tokyo Midtown, Minato, Tokyo, Japan|
|Key people||Kagemasa Kozuki (CEO)|
Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear)
Koji Igarashi (Castlevania)
|Industry||Video game industry|
Health and fitness
Konami Corporation (コナミ株式会社 Konami Kabushiki-gaisha?) is a Japanese developer and publisher of toys, trading cards, anime, slot machines, arcade cabinets, and video games. The company was founded in 1969 as a jukebox rental and repair business in Osaka, Japan, by Kagemasa Kozuki, the still-current chairman and chief executive officer.
The name "Konami" is a conjunction of the names Kagemasa Kozuki, Yoshinobu Nakama, Hiro Matsuda, and Shokichi Ishihara, who were partners acquired by Kozuki and the original founders of Konami Industry Co., Ltd in 1973. Konami also means "small waves."
On March 21, 1969, Kagemasa Kozuki founded a jukebox rental/repair business in Osaka. Four years later, Kozuki transformed the business into Konami Industry Co., Ltd. and began work on manufacturing "amusement machines" for arcades. Their first actual game machine was not created until 1978. They began to achieve success with hit arcade games such as 1981's Frogger, Scramble, and Super Cobra.
In January 1979, Konami began exporting products to North America and established a logo two years later. In 1982, Konami began to develop computer games and establish Konami of America, Inc. in California, United States. The following year they began to develop MSX games.
In 1985, Konami began to port many of their arcade games to the Famicom. Konami began to achieve great success when the Famicom increased in popularity, when it was released in North America as the Nintendo Entertainment System. Many of the NES's bestselling titles were produced by Konami, including Gradius, the Castlevania series, the Contra series, and Metal Gear. Konami was one of the most active and prolific third party development studios for the NES, which led to conflict with Nintendo of America's licensing restrictions. During the climax of the NES, Nintendo of America controlled the production of all licensed NES software titles, and limited third party developers to a maximum of five titles per year. Several companies found a way around this restriction by founding quasi-independent subsidiary corporations, effectively doubling the number of games that they could release during the year. In the case of Konami, this subsidiary was known as Ultra Games, and a large number of Konami titles were published in North America under their banner, including the original Metal Gear and Snake's Revenge. Likewise, when various games, including the aforementioned, were being localized by Konami of America in the late NES era, several of the localizers often ignored the intended plot points of the games and frequently inserted various jokes and puns in the manuals, which led to some unpopularity with the American titles. This method was even included with the NES version of Metal Gear and Snake's Revenge, which had in-game stories.
In 1986, Hideo Kojima joined Konami's MSX home computer division in 1986 as a designer and planner. By the early 1990s, Nintendo of America had relaxed many of its licensing restrictions, resulting in Ultra Games being shut down in 1992, with the remainder of its staff being reabsorbed into Konami's official North American branch.
In 1991, Konami began to develop game engines for PC games, and the following year they began to develop games for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. In 1994, the company began developing and producing games for the PlayStation.
In the early 2000s, Konami began to develop and publish games for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and the Xbox. In 2003, Konami of America closed down their arcade division due to a large loss in revenue. In the same year, Konami teamed up with the Japanese film production company Toho Company, Ltd. to create their tokusatsu (live-action film or television drama that usually features superheroes) television series in attempt to emulate and rival the success of Toei's Super Sentai genre.
In 2005, Konami was the sixth largest game developer in Japan after Nintendo, Square Enix, Capcom, Sega, and Namco Bandai. In the same year, Kojima founded Kojima Productions, a subsidiary of Konami.
In 2012, Konami moved its development headquarters to California as a means to gain more insight into its viewers demands. Nearing the end of its pre-E3 show, Konami unveiled details regarding some new Frogger and Midnight Carnival projects for the iPhone, Facebook and Google Chrome; PES 2013; Zone of the Enders: HD Collection; the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary; and new details for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, it also revealed a surprise for the players: that they were working on a sequel for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Whether Kojima will work on the project like he did before, as well as whether it is Kojima's "Project Ogre" is not currently known, however.
Over the years, some of the biggest and most memorable video games have been created by Konami. Genre-defining titles attributed to Konami include the dating simulation Tokimeki Memorial series, the vampire hunting Castlevania series, the action/shooter Contra series, the platform/adventure Ganbare Goemon series, the espionage action Metal Gear series, the console role-playing Suikoden series, survival horror Silent Hill series and the rhythmic dancing Dance Dance Revolution (a.k.a. Dancing Stage) series.