Konami, one of the historic Japanese software houses, has largely fallen from grace ever since the ugly separation with Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima.
With gamers and even a mainstream journalist like Geoff Keighley calling them out on this topic, it seemed like Konami was destined to enter a downward spiral, at least when it comes to creating new AAA games.
However, Splatoon 2 designer Jordan Amaro cast a glimmer of hope in a recent interview with Rollingstone's Glixel. Amaro, who worked on Crysis 3, MGSV: The Phantom Pain, Homefront: The Revolution and Resident Evil VII: Biohazard before becoming one of two Western developers working at Nintendo's Kyoto flagship studio, said that Konami has plenty of talent.
Without ranking them: Shigeru Miyamoto, Yoshiaki Koizuimi, Eiji Aonuma, Hideo Kojima, Shinji Mikami, Hideki Kamiya. That's my six [best game designers]. Then I would have to go outside of Japan.
And then there are a ton of people you’ve never heard of who are just as sharp about the craft who are going to emerge in the coming years. Including at Konami. Don’t discount them. Don’t write them off. They’ve got some really good people there.
This reignites the hope that Konami will eventually emerge from its slumber to create new and interesting games in beloved IPs such as Castlevania and Silent Hill.
Amaro also talked about the differences in Japanese and Western game design.
In Japan, there’s a sense of, “We’re making this thing for you, and this is how we think this thing is better enjoyed.” This is why, in Splatoon, the maps rotate every couple of hours. And the modes change. “I bought this game. Why can’t I just enjoy this game the way I want?” That’s not how we think here. Yes, you did buy the game. But we made this game. And we’re pretty confident about how this game should be enjoyed. If you stick with us, and if you get past your initial resistance, you’re going to have the time of your life with this game. You’re really going to love it.
You can read our Splatoon 2 review here, by the way.