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Don’t #FucKonami

…..or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomberman

Note: The article is an opinion piece. It’s fine if you disagree, it’s fine if you do agree, but either way let us know what you think in the comments!

Ever since  Jim Sterling coined the phrase, #FucKonami was and still is, a poignant and relevant slogan used to express gamers collective displeasure with the company. It is very easy to see why people embraced that sentiment. Within the span of the single year, the company went from a respected game maker to forum goers favorite punching bag. They had a very public breakup with legendary game designer Hideo Kojima, they canceled promising titles such as Silent Hill, and the only new content they seem to release nowadays are in the form of pachinko machines and pachislots.

Now, as bad as Konami has been, I think it has become a bit too easy to just spout “#FuckKonami” and call it a day. What began as a righteous call to arms has became a tired meme… one that people use just to use. More than once, in comments on articles and YouTube videos for Super Bomberman R for the Nintendo Switch, I’ve seen it rear its ugly head. What’s odd about this is that Super Bomberman R is exactly the sort of game we, as gamers, should want Konami to make. It is them revisiting an older franchise and, seemingly, treating it with the respect that it deserves. Is Konami too far gone for us to care? Do we just not support Konami no matter they do?

I say no. Remember, fellow gamers, that it was not all that long ago we were complaining about how awful “Crapcom” was how wonderful it was that Keiji Inafune had escaped that sinking ship. How time can change our opinion of things. Companies change, leadership changes, and our view of things change as well.  Now, I am not saying we need to start blinding loving Konami or even that we shouldn’t use the #FucKonami tag the next time they invariably screw things up. What I am saying is that we should make our voices heard with our wallets. When a company does something right, we need to support that just as much as we need to boycott them when they blunder. If we want to tell Konami that we want more of their older IPs, and that we want to see them continue making traditional games, then we need to buy those games when we are given the chance.

Konami is a company with a long and storied video game history, and a library of franchises that include Frogger, Silent Hill, Castlevania, and, of course, Metal Gear. To give up on them means giving up on all of the potential of those series… and simply boycotting them will likely not result in the sale of those IPs to other companies or in Konami itself going under. Let us not forget, after all, that Konami now makes much of its money off of its health clubs and its gambling and pachinko machines. Gaming is still a major part of what they do, but it is not their bottom line. It may, therefore, be better to use a bit of positive reinforcement with the company, as simply not buying proper entries will only result in those games not being made in the future. It should also be noted that these series still have value to Konami outside of traditional gaming. That is why we see things like Castlevania or Metal Gear pachinko games in the first place, and why it would be unlikely for them to sell them off.

Listen, what I am proposing here is simple. When a video game company, any company really, does things we don’t agree with… we shouldn’t support those particular things. When they do happen to do the right thing, however, we need to step up and let them know we are paying attention. We can #FucKonami, but we should still remember to love the franchises they made. Bomberman and friends deserve that much, at least.

  1. Aptly put. Konami may be the worst but it is important to acknowledge and reward good deeds by the company. It does not immediately forgive their crappiness from the past. But if they’re trying to do something genuinely great like Super Bomberman R, a return to form for a long dead franchise I say we give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Unfortunately it is still a very important thing to note, Konami’s under some very bad leadership. Takuya Kozuki became president of the company by way of being the former President’s son. Takuya, at best has little to no interest in video games, and at worst actively despises the fan base.

    Jamesster445 on January 27 |
  2. I was never one to hate on Konami. I play Skylanders, so a company being literally Satan doesn’t phase me. If anything, that fall-out made me hate Kojima more! I was never a fan of Metal Gear as an IP; in fact the only Metal Gear I liked enough to finish was Rising: Revengance, the game that had little to no Kojima in it! I still say their’s details from that divorce we’re missing. Removing his name from the box, after that art had been released publicly, does seem like a bit of misplaced petty-ness, but people act like Kojima was innocent in all that. He’s always been notoriously difficult to work with (or for), and he would often go over budget.

    Ezekial on January 27 |
  3. Not to be that guy, but isn’t a little hard to justify voting with your wallet when Super Bomberman R has a $50 price tag? I’d love to support a return to form, but unless there’s WAY more than the eShop title’s worth of content there appears to be, I may have to pass for a while.

    Igiulaw on January 27 |
    • I heard it contains over a 100 levels and a full co-op story mode (most of the digital versions of the game only had vs-multiplayer modes). That’s enough for me, but your mileage will obviously vary. I do think $30-$40 would probably have been a more natural price point, though. It seems less like what I would expect from an eShop title and more like what I would expect from a 3DS title to me, so that pricing structure would make a bit more sense.

      David "Spazzy" Krane on January 27 |
  4. For now, Super Bomberman R is the only game out of them as of late that interests me.

    Sure Metal Gear Solid Survive is clearly Konami’s way to make a game without Kojima, it’s basically the Federation Force of the franchise. I do have some slight optimism that it might be good as Revengeance (which was a fantastic Metal Gear spinoff) when it’s out.

    awesomeaussie27 on January 27 |
  5. I want to love Bomberman, but I’m hesitant about the series’ future in the hands of Konami… After all, if a certain Konami rep at the Nintendo Switch event is to be believed, Super Bomberman R came about because of a collaboration between Konami and Nintendo, and even then, the game is said to look lackluster and run at 30 fps, which for a game that’s being sold on a brand-new console for $60, feels a touch unreasonable…

    I’ll still get it, though, it looks like a fun title, but I don’t expect things to go anywhere regardless of how good the sales are. If there’s one company to completely mismange its properties regardless of their success, it’s Konami.

    Matt Bankey on January 27 |
  6. Yeah no. Corporations aren’t your friend, they aren’t happy go lucky, misunderstood underdogs. All evidence points to Konami being a toxic environment that abuses its workers, screws over creative people, and actively antagonizes people who take them to task for their behavior. Maybe SOMEDAY, when we hear stories about Konami having improved work working conditions, that they respect creativity, are open to criticism, and when they release more actual, complete videogames, THEN we can let the phrase die.

    But until they show actual signs of true, genuine change, I say we have every right to say #FucKonami.

    Paperbritt on January 28 |
  7. I may not be a fan of Konami, but I do remember they made great games. One of that is Kojima’s legendary Snatchers game, and everything in that game was wonderfully magnificent. I really credited Konami for making such great game back then. Sure, people say Konami killed Hudson after it got absorbed, but I wouldn’t think that Konami didn’t cared about their games. I do think Konami knew Bomberman is the legend, and have a right to bring back in a new but returning form. Super Bomberman R was the sign of their care of the game, so I think that’ll mean they didn’t kill Hudson entirely. Not to mention Konami did also revived Hudson’s another legendary game Momotaro Dentetsu series last year December, so that’ll mean Konami does trying to revive several Hudson games as much as possible.

    Now people would say I’m too generous with these things, but am I entirely as a hypocrite? As bringing opinion, what’s the difference of being generous and being honest? Sure, whatever Konami done in the past is unforgiving, but that wouldn’t mean we should stay like that for the next million years. Whatever Konami’s doing today are trying their best to recover everything as much as possible. Konami isn’t Hudson, but at least Konami’s trying their best to bring them back to life. Besides, Konami isn’t the only victim who’ve been treated badly by many gamers; Capcom has been treated badly when many Mega Man projects were cancelled after Inafune left the company, Sony has gotten bad reputation with many console’s failures and they brought no plans to fix them all as being too proud of it, and Nintendo is being bashed badly today because of Switch’s negative problems with the console itself and lack of launch titles. Many game companies are trying their best on creating good games and consoles, but gamers and fans on the other hand are being too greedy on their own selfish minds than their ideas. And do you think the world should agree with these fans to bash on to that company? If there were, then I gotta say this harshly, they’re just zombies. Gamers and fans aren’t the one who’s controlling the company, but the company itself is controlling it. Things won’t stay the same forever, things will change to different ways as the time goes on, even if that’ll mean good or bad, and that’s reality. I’m not saying to give Konami a chance, but to respect them for how hard they try to do things right, and I think them trying to continue Hudson’s legacy is a good sign of their new start.

    zoniken on January 28 |
  8. Unless I find a company supporting some highly illegal or unethical cause I wouldn’t think of not “supporting” them – I just buy a game based on whether I want it or not, whether it looks like a good one to get. I never feel like I have any real inside knowledge about what goes on between like Kojima and the heads of Konami, or their business reasons for doing pachinko games primarily, etc. I did wish they did more with Hudson’s games, but I don’t think the 8 and 16-bit era appeals much to today’s audiences.

    matthew on January 28 |