Konami’s origin story will sound familiar to people privy to Sega’s: both started as small businesses that turned their attention towards machines for video arcades, before becoming the legends we know today. In Konami’s case, it all began in 1969 when Kagemasa Kozuki transformed his jukebox rental and repair business into an amusement machine for video arcades business. In 1973, Konami was officially established as Konami Industry. The name is a portmanteau of the name of the three founding members; KOzuki (Kagemasa), NAkama (Yoshinobu), and MIyasako (Tatsuo). By 1979, Konami was exporting its products, arcade games, to the United States and finding great success in that venture. 1982 was a big year, as the company established a subsidiary in the United States and expanded into the PC game industry (followed by the NES in 1985).
From this point forward, Konami continued to make a name for itself in the video games landscape with exceptional titles in the living room (Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, Suikoden, etc.) and arcade centers (Bemani rhythm game series). Nowadays, the company has a corporate structure with numerous ramifications and iterations and offices worldwide. The significant subsidiaries deal with sports, fitness, entertainment, casinos, and even real estate, showing the size Konami has achieved since 1969. Here are the latest Konami statistics and facts to paint this picture for us.
Konami key stats
After 53 years in the business, Konami is still around and a big name that several generations now know. The company has its paws in multiple industries, but its first love was video games, and it is still investing quite a lot in that aspect. However, the focus has shifted quite a bit for a few years now (too much sadness in the gaming community), and Konami has shown the image of a primarily business-oriented company.
1. Konami’s market value has been estimated at around $7.9 billion market cap.
(Source: Y Charts)
- Konami was first established with a 1 million yen capital. By 1974, it was up to 4 million yen, reaching 10 million yen in 1975 and 20 million yen in 1978. In December 1979, the capital had increased to 40 million yen.
- The 300 million yen milestone was reached in November 1983. A year later, it passed the billion yen threshold with a capital of 2 billion yen. And that turned into 5 billion in 1985, followed by 8 billion yen in November 1986.
- Capital increased to 11 billion in 1997, 12 billion in 1998, and 13 billion in 1999. It continued its momentum by reaching a capital of 15 billion in 2000, followed by a massive jump in 2001 with a capital worth 47 billion.
- FY21 was a good year for Konami, with a total revenue of ¥272,656 million ($2,209,686,020.80). The company generated ¥262,810 million ($2,129,891,083) in FY20 and ¥262,549 million ($2,127,775,860.70) in FY19.
- Gross profit in 2021 amounted to ¥113,441 million ($919,359,896.30), which is a year-on-year increase. It amounted to ¥99,767 million ($808,541,698.10) in 2020 and ¥107,191 million ($868,708,021.30) in 2019.
- In 2021, profit before income taxes was ¥35,581 million ($288,359,098.30), meaning that profit for that year was ¥32,274 million ($261,558,178.20). Profit before income taxes amounted to ¥30,395 million ($246,330,198.50) in 2020 and ¥50,310 million ($407,727,333) in 2019. Therefore, profit generated in 2020 was ¥19,897 million ($161,251,257.10) and ¥34,217 million ($277,304,833.10) in 2019.
- In 2019, operating profit totaled ¥50,522 million ($409,445,444.60). It was the best of those last three years, followed by ¥36,550 million ($296,212,165) in 2021 and ¥30,972 million ($251,006,379.60) in 2020.
- The total comprehensive income for 2021 totaled ¥34,536 million ($279,890,104.80), ¥18,234 million ($147,773,806.20) in 2020 and ¥35,189 million ($285,182,212.70) in 2019.
- From Q1 2022 to Q3 2022, Konami has generated total revenue of ¥215,048 million ($1,742,813,506.40). Operating profit totaled ¥60,311 million ($487,931,067.75). Comprehensive income for Q1 to Q3 is ¥43,800 million ($354,352,950).
- The gross profit amounts to ¥97,822 million ($792,778,834.60) while profit before income taxes amounts to ¥59,860 million ($484,282,365). It means that for that period, June 2021 to December 2021, profit is estimated to be ¥42,383 million ($342,889,065.75).
Surprisingly, 2021 was a far better year than 2020 for Konami. Even 2019 fared better than the latter in everything. However, there is no big mystery or boycott behind those numbers: Konami has been slowly neglecting the home video game aspect of the business. They are still releasing them, but few and far between. With such a strong focus on arcade centers, casinos, pachinko, or sports/fitness centers, it was evident that the 2020 crisis was going to affect the company so drastically. Most of those places were forced to stay closed or had to follow a strict schedule. Konami’s saving grace was the fact that it has been focusing on mobile games and microtransactions. 2021 was a healthy year with people slowly living again and 2022 is already showing quite the flying colors.
Konami has already taken measures in case of a new drastic lockdown by implementing measures that would allow their customers to use their services online. For example, online fitness classes or the release of a Konami-station to enjoy arcade games at home or on your phone.
2. As of March 2022, Konami Holdings Corporation has a total number of 8,817 employees.
- Konami Amusement (in charge of production, manufacturing, and distribution of amusement machines) employs 906 people.
- Konami Sports (in charge of fitness activities and sports classes) boasts 4,740 employees.
- Konami Digital Entertainment (in charge of production, manufacturing, and sales of products related to mobile games, card games, video games, and music/video/DVD) has 1,906 employees.
- In 2021, operating segments (digital entertainment, sports, amusement, and gaming & systems) generated a grand revenue of ¥221,512 million ($1,792,087,458) in Japan, ¥28,551 million ($230,984,727.75) in the United States, ¥13,478 million ($109,040,389.50) in Europe and ¥9,115 million ($73,742,628.75) in Asia/Oceania.
- In 2020, they totaled ¥204,518 million ($1,654,601,749.50) in Japan, ¥36,746 million ($297,284,326.50) in the United States, ¥12,551 million ($101,540,727.75) in Europe and ¥8,995 million ($72,771,798.75) in Asia/Oceania.
- In 2019, the four operating segments brought home ¥201,775 million ($1,632,410,193.75) from Japan, ¥40,347 million ($326,417,316.75) from the United States, ¥12,890 million ($104,283,322.50) from Europe, and ¥7,537 million ($60,976,214.25) from Asia/Oceania.
- From Q1 2022 to Q3 2022, they generated ¥166,141 million ($1,344,122,225.25) in Japan, ¥30,818 million ($249,325,324.50) in the United States, ¥9,827 million ($79,502,886.75) in Europe, and ¥8,262 million ($79,502,886.75) in Asia/Oceania.
Konami’s four main subsidiaries also represent the four main sectors the company is involved in. It comes as quite a surprise to see that sports/fitness has the second-biggest number of employees. Few would think of “sports” when hearing the name “Konami”. But that is mainly because the sporty side of the company is mostly active in Japan. To the point that several Japanese Olympic athletes call Konami Sports home. Results for Q4 are not out yet, but we can already see that the Asia/Oceania region has seen a considerable change in how they consume Konami’s products. It might well have reached ¥10,000 million at the end of FY22.
Konami video games overview
Even though the focus has somewhat shifted when it comes to video games with Konami, the fact stands that the company has given birth to a slew of legendary titles/franchises in the gaming landscape. Not only in arcade centers, but also in our living room, and that is how it actually conquered the Western audience. Even if they are not being exploited nowadays, Konami still retains ownership of all those titles.
3. As of July 2018, the Castlevania franchise has sold over 22 million units worldwide since the first game’s release in 1986.
- By 1993, over 3.7 million units had been sold. By then, around six games had been released (on different platforms).
- The original entry, Castlevania, sold 1.56 million units (NES and GBA sales combined). Castlevania: Lord of Shadows sold 1.77 million units when combining the sales on PS3 and Xbox 360.
- Castlevania III (NES) sold 850,000 units in its time. A number that must now be over a million, thanks to modern digital releases. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon was the first GBA installment of the franchise and sold 890,000 units.
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1) sold 1.27 million units. A good number that could have been better, if not for the 3D craze back in the day and the game being in 2D. This title is always high up on lists of all sorts.
- Castlevania: Bloodlines was the only title exclusive to a SEGA console and only sold 40,000 units.
- The franchise counts over 40 games, including all the collections, ports, and spin-offs.
Upon its release in 1986, Castlevania proved that Konami had what was needed to create hit after hit. It might seem trivial today, but the game really created a new way of playing for the action/adventure genre. The improvements and changes it brought are still used in terms of level design. Of course, nothing’s perfect and the franchise has the occasional bad title here and there (looking at you, N64), but nothing big enough to kill the legacy. The last original game was released in 2014 (Lord of Shadows 2), as Konami seems to only focus on ports of old titles and collections now. A shame considering the potential here, the success of the Netflix animated series (over 30 million viewers), and the still really strong community.
4. The Metal Gear franchise has sold a total of 58 million units since 1987 when it was first released.
- The first game, Metal Gear, sold over 1 million units on the NES. The third entry, Metal Gear Solid, sold over 6 million units on the PS1. When combining the sales from the different ports, MGS has sold a whopping total of over 7 million games.
- After porting Metal Gear Solid 2 to the PS2 in 2001, the game sold seven million units. In 2004, Metal Gear Solid 3 sold 4 million units on PS2 alone.
- 6 million units of MGS4: Guns of the Patriots were sold worldwide, while Peace Walker on PSP sold over 1.2 million units.
- By 2007, and after 20 million units sold, Metal Gear crossed the $1 billion threshold in lifetime revenue. By 2019, it had generated over $2.5 billion.
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015) raked in $179 million on release day, beating Jurassic World and Avengers; Age of Ultron combined.
- The franchise has 20+ titles in total, with 9 of them counting as the main storyline.
A reference in the thriller-stealth genre, Metal Gear/Metal Gear Solid was the big introduction of the talented Hideo Kojima to the world. It finally gave a name (and some strong street cred) to the stealth genre, showing that it could be done in video games. It was not the first stealth game, but he was definitely the first to succeed in flying colors to show a real appeal. Furthermore, it also demonstrated that video games could be cinematic. With a mix of particular humor, deep narrative, intricate storyline, cyberpunk, philosophy, political stakes, and rich and intuitive gameplay, MGS engraved its name in video game history forever. Unfortunately, like with a lot of its games, Konami mistreated the franchise and went so far as to bully its creator, even after he left the company. Proving that Kojima was the blood in MGS, after Konami released a new entry following his departure, the game completely bombed.
5. As of 2019, Silent Hill has sold a little over 9 million units since its first release in 1999.
- In 2006, the lifetime number of copies sold was 5.3 million, after Silent Hill 1-4. By the end of 2009, it was now up to 6.9 million.
- A year later, with the addition of three new games, the cumulative sales were now 7.3 million.
- At the end of December 2012, 8.4 million had been sold, after a total of 10 games were released. In 2015, cumulative sales rose to 8.8 million.
- The franchise has 8 main games, but a total of 17-18 games.
Silent Hill is still acclaimed today as one of the best survival horror franchises, if not the best. It changed the negative outlook people had on the horror genre as B movie material. The games dive into tortured psychology with a gritty environment reflecting the mental struggles of the character in a skillful manner. The first game used real-time 3D rendering and in order to mask the limitations of the PlayStation, the devs used a lot of smog, grainy textures, and badly lit surroundings, which actually added to the atmosphere of the game. The formula was golden. The last 6 main games were developed by western studios, and not by Team Silent. Regrettably, those games are severely under-tracked, and even when finding numbers for units sold for each game, those tend to be way inferior to the real statistics. Except maybe for Silent Hill: Downpour. That one deserved the terrible numbers. And let’s not even talk about the P.T. (Silent Hills) fiasco in 2014. Another neglected franchise.
6. Winning Eleven/Pro Evolution Soccer/eFootball has sold 112.5 million copies since the release of the first installment, in 1995.
- The first three PES (2002 & 2003) sold between 2.2 million and 3.68 million copies. From that point forward, PES 4 to 2011 sold between 4.41 million and 8.56 million copies.
- PES 2012 & 2013 managed to sell above 2 million copies, but it went downward afterward, with titles managing only around 1 million copies sold.
- PES 2015 took the cake with its 1.7 million copies. PES 2019 did not even reach 1 million (0.55 million copies).
Pro Evolution Soccer, as known internationally, is actually a franchise that was first released in 1995 in Japan under the name “Winning Eleven”, but took to the world stage in 2001-2 only. Konami then decided to change its name for a second time in 2021, renaming it eFootball. That new name also came with a new commercial strategy: eFootball 2022 is using the free-to-play business model, meaning that microtransactions are numerous. There is also a spin-off series called J-League Winning Eleven that is exclusive to Japan. eFootball is one of the most lucrative franchises owned by Konami at the moment: between the eSports championships organized by Konami since 2010 and the huge appeal the games still have (over 400 million downloads on mobile), profits keep rising. The game has been losing some steam in the West and eFootball 2022 did not help since it has been completely panned after its release: with outdated graphics, terrible handling, and bugs galore, needless to say, Konami took a hit. A life-changing patch is scheduled for April 2022.
To sum up
Konami was a juggernaut. It still is but in a different manner. Whereas we all knew the company for its games, nowadays, it seems that there is no real reason to acknowledge them. Yet, they are enjoying quite good financial health. Why? Simply because the point of view in Japan and the West is drastically different.
Konami is well-known in Japan for its arcade machines, casino machines, involvement in sports (even at a professional level), real estate agencies, affiliations with television, even with Internet providers, etc. Konami is a holding corporation and amongst their numerous businesses, you will find video games. In the West, that is all Konami is known for. Thus, when the company decided to neglect their best games, the ones that opened the west to them, the audience on that side of the globe was not happy.
However, it is not just that: Konami is hopelessly motivated by a greedy thirst, and several of their decisions show that milking the players is their priority. Best believe that they have quickly jumped on the NFTs business using Castlevania. Konami is also known for its bullying nature and acts regarding its employees and ex-employees, sabotaging their chances to find a job elsewhere. From Suikoden which the company decided to let rot in a dungeon to Metal Gear Solid owes all its success to the one man they harassed without mercy, Konami lost its spunk when it comes to video games in the living room. They are still doing very well with Yu-Gi-Oh though, and they have announced that they will be focused on mobile gaming from now on…and sometimes console/PC stuff.
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