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Console publishers Konami and Square Enix switch focus to mobile
Konami and Square Enix are two of the largest and most well-known publishers in the console gaming space, but according to recent comments by both companies, the two are turning their attention to the mobile market. This isn’t just a safe hedge, both companies are looking to aggressively pursue mobile gaming as their main focus.
According to a translated interview with Nikkei Trendy Net, Konami’s new CEO Hideki Hayakawa says that the company will be looking at mobile as it main platform going forward.
“We will pursue mobile games aggressively. Our main platform will be mobiles. Following the pay-as-you-play model of games like Power pro and Winning Eleven with additional content, our games must move from selling things like “items” to selling things like “features.” – Konami
Interestingly, the company mentioned a pay-as-you-play model, which will focus on offering additional content and features for cash, rather than items and power-ups typically associated with in-app purchases. We’ll have to see if this business model proves successful or not in the mobile space, as the freemium segment is by far the most popular.
The company has been having problems in the console market lately, and not just limited to its dispute with Hideo Kojima and issues with its horror demo P.T. The company has recently seen itself de-list from the New York Stock exchange and is in the process of restructuring its headquarters, both of which have been viewed as signs of internal trouble and likely cost-cutting measures for the company.
Square Enix has echoed similar sentiments, suggesting that it is becoming increasingly difficult to turn a substantial profit in the existing console market. Instead, the company’s most recent earning reports saw a huge 50 percent growth in revenues, driven by MMO subscriptions and mobile games, including its popular Final Fantasy series.
“smart devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs are spreading rapidly, while the console game markets in North America and Europe are increasingly competitive and oligopolistic” – Square Enix
This isn’t to say that these companies will be abandoning mobile completely. Popular titles, such as Metal Gear Solid V, will still be heading to consoles in the future. Instead, they are realigning their businesses to keep up with one of the fastest growing sectors in the gaming market. On the up side, this might mean that a few more high profile titles will make their way into the mobile space in the future.
Konami and Square Enix aren’t the only publishers interested in the growing mobile gaming market. EA has brought its popular Need for Speed series over to Android, SEGA has published a few mobile games already, and even Nintendo is planning a range of games specifically for mobile through until 2017 and probably beyond.
What do the gamers out there make of the news? Is it great to see more attention for mobile, or is it disappointing that two legacy companies have lost faith in dedicated consoles?