Konami profits continue to grow despite lack of AAA games

Despite the fact that it no longer releases AAA games, Konami profits continue to grow. The company just reported its fifth straight year of growth in profits.

Konami recently released its financial report for the 2018 fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2019. The report shows that the company earned ¥50 billion during that period, a 9.6% increase from the previous year’s ¥45.2 billion.

Majority of Konami’s profits came from the digital entertainment segment, which covers its remaining video game releases. The segment saw strong sales from a number of titles including Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links as well as sports titles such as Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuuand Professional Baseball Spirits Ace.

Overall, revenue from the digital entertainment segment was up by 17.8%. The ¥37.5 billion in profits from this accounts for 75% of the company’s overall profits.

The company’s continued growth, led seemingly by non-AAA games, seems to validate the decision to stop working on the full-blooded new video game releases a few years back. The company’s last big AAA title was Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Despite that game selling over three million units, it’s speculated that even that figure wasn’t enough for the game to break even. It was this reason that led us to posit that Konami leaving AAA development behind was a good thing.

Now, four years later, it seems that our words are ringing true. Konami is now doing much better focusing smaller releases, such as the Yugi-Oh titles, and its various sports games. Meanwhile, the company still gets to please fans of the classic franchises with collected re-releases such as the Castlevania Anniversary Collection and the Konami Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection.

While the lack of big AAA releases from the studio may be lamentable, seeing Konami not just survive, but actually thrive may be a good thing in the long run. Who knows: If the winds change, Konami could possibly return to doing AAA releases of its classic IPs in the future.