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 (     ) is a Japanese leading developer and publisher of numerous popular and strong-selling toys, trading cards, anime, tokusatsu, slot machines, arcade cabinets and video games. Konami is famous for games such as the Metal Gear series, Dance Dance Revolution series, Castlevania series, Pro Evolution Soccer series and Silent Hill series.


The company was founded in 1969 as a jukebox rental and repair business in Osaka, Japanmarker, by Kagemasa Kōzuki, the still-current chairman and chief executive officer. The name "Konami" is a conjunction of the names Kagemasa Kouzuki (current chairman of the board and CEO), Yoshinobu Nakama, Tatuso Miyasako (another theory was Hiro Matsuda, and Shokichi Ishihara) , who were partners acquired by Kozuki and the original founders of Konami Industry Co., Ltd in 1973. Konami can also mean "small wave(s)" in the Japanese language.

Konami is currently headquartered in Tokyomarker and additionally operates health and physical fitness clubs in Japan. Konami also operates United States activities in El Segundo, Californiamarker for video games and Las Vegas, Nevadamarker for the casino gaming industry. The location in Paradise, Nevadamarker is located across the street from one of the runways at McCarran International Airportmarker. Its Australian gaming operations are located in Sydney, Australiamarker, and distribution of Konami's games in Australia is handled by Atari Australia, which is usually subject to controversy as Konami of Europe's games distributed by Atari Australia are much more expensive than other games distributed by them. Distribution of KOE's games in Australia was to be taken over by Red Ant Enterprises in February 2009, but Jason Hill from The Age and ASIC, a government body, announced that the company went into External Receivership and Administration, which then led KOE to re-sign with Atari Australia.

History

In March 21, 1969, Kagemasa Kozuki (current chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer) founded a jukebox rental/repair business in Osaka.

In March 19, 1973, Kozuki transformed the business into Konami Industry Co., Ltd. and began work on manufacturing "amusement machines" for arcades. Their first actual game machine was not created until 1978, and they began exporting products to the United States the following year. They began to achieve success with hit arcade games such as 1981's Frogger, Scramble, and Super Cobra, many of which were licensed to other companies for stateside release, including Stern Electronics and Gremlin Industries.

In May 1980, the headquarters was moved to Toyonaka, Osaka.

In March 1981, the Konami logo was established. It was altered in 1988 from Italics to Roman text. In 2003, Konami introduced a new logo on the company's 30th anniversary since its establishment. The company also introduced the new tagline "びっくり:Bikkuri", which means "Be Creative".

In October 1982, Konami began manufacturing and selling PC games.

In November 1982, Konami of America, Inc. (currently Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.) was established in Torrancemarker, Californiamarker. It relocated to Wood Dale, Illinoismarker in 1984. In 1999 it relocated again to Redwood City, Californiamarker, leaving a location in Illinois open strictly for the manufacturing of Konami's arcade video games. In 2003, Konami of America closed down their arcade division due to heavy losses; the entire Buffalo Grove, Illinois location was shut down along with it. All machine inquiries and new machines would thereafter be handled by Betson Enterprises. As of 2007, Konami Corporation of America has moved its U.S head office once again from Redwood City to Konami Digital Entertainment's office in El Segundo, Californiamarker.

In November 1983, Konami began manufacturing and selling MSX games.

In May 1984, Konami Ltd. (currently Konami Digital Entertainment B.V.) was established in the U.K.

In October 1984, Konami was listed on the Second Section of the Osaka Securities Exchange (specially designated stocks in the second section). Subsequent stock listings include Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (2/1988), London Stock Exchange (9/1999), New York Stock Exchange (9/2002), and the Nikkei Stock Average (Nikkei 225)(10/2003).

In December 1984, Konami GmbH (currently Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH) was established in Germany.

In April 1985, Konami began manufacturing and selling Family Computer ("Famicom") video games. This new business was, in addition to their arcade market, from which many games were later ported.

In December 1987, Konami Kosan Co., Ltd. (currently Konami Real Estate, Inc.) was established.

Konami began to achieve great success when the Famicom took off, being released in the United States as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Many of the NES/Famicom's bestselling titles were produced by Konami, including Gradius, the Castlevania series, the Contra series, and Metal Gear. Konami was one of the most active and prolific third party development studios for the NES, which led to conflict with Nintendo of America's licensing restrictions. During the heyday of the NES, Nintendo of America controlled the production of all licensed NES software titles, and limited third party developers to a maximum of five titles per year. Several companies found a way around this restriction by founding quasi-independent subsidiary corporations, effectively doubling the number of games that they could release during the year. In the case of Konami, this subsidiary was known as Ultra Games, and a large number of Konami titles were published in North America under their banner, including Metal Gear, Gyruss, Skate or Die!, the first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games and Snake's Revenge (a sequel to the original Metal Gear made specifically for the western market). In Europe, faced with a similar restriction placed by Nintendo's European branch, Konami established Palcom Software Ltd. to the same end. By the early 1990s, Nintendo of America had relaxed many of its licensing restrictions, and, no longer needed, Ultra was reabsorbed into Konami's official American branch in 1992.

In May 1991, Konami Technology Development Center (currently Amusement Content Business's Kobe Office) opened in Kobe.

In June 1991, Konami Industries Co., Ltd., was renamed to Konami Co., Ltd.

In November 1991, Konami entered the PC Engine game business.

In June 1992, Konami set up Tokyo headquarter.

In December 1992, Konami entered the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis game business.

In 1992-?, members of Konami left to form Treasure Co. Ltd, which, like Konami, is well-known in the video gaming community for creating high caliber shooters and action games.

In April 1993, Headquarter functions were moved from Kobe Headquarters to Tokyo Headquarters.

In September 1994, Konami (Hong Kong) Limited (currently Konami Digital Entertainment Limited) was established in Hong Kong.

In December 1994, Konami entered the PlayStation video game business.

In April 1995, Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka Co., Ltd. (currently Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka, Inc.) and Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo Co., Ltd. (currently Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, Inc.) were established.

In December 1995, Konami Music Entertainment Co., Ltd. (current Konami Music Entertainment, Inc.) was established.

In April 1996, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan Co., Ltd. (current Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, Inc.) and Konami Service Co., Ltd.(current Konami Service, Inc.) were established.

In May 1996, Konami shifted to a business divisional organization.

In October 1996, Konami Finance Co., Ltd. (current Konami Capital, Inc.) was established.

In November 1996, U.S. holding company Konami Corporation of America was established in the U.S.Konami Australia Pty Ltd was established in Australia.

In January 1997, Konami Gaming, Inc. was established in the U.S.

In March 1997, Amusement Content Business plant was constructed in Kobe. Konami Computer Entertainment School Co., Ltd. (currently Konami School, Inc.) was established.

In October 1997, Konami entered the gaming machine market in Australia.

In November 1997, Konami was listed on the Singapore Exchange. European holding company, Konami Europe B.V. (currently Konami Digital Entertainment B.V.) was established in the Netherlands.

In 1998, Konami released Dance Dance Revolution, a Dance Simulation game that revolutionized the music game industry.

In December 1999, the official registered address of Konami's headquarters was changed from Kobe to Tokyo.

In January 2000, Konami received a licence of manufacturing and sales of gaming machines from the U.S. state of Nevada.

In June 2000, Konami Software Shanghai, Inc. was established.

In July 2000, Konami Co., Ltd. was renamed to Konami Corporation.

In August 2000, Konami Computer Entertainment Sapporo, Inc. merged with Konami Computer Entertainment Yokohama, Inc., and the new company was named Konami Computer Entertainment Studios, Inc.

In October 2000, Konami Marketing, Inc., was established and began operations.

In February 2001, People Co., Ltd. became Konami's subsidiary through a friendly TOB takeover bid and Konami entered the Health & Fitness business. The company was later named Konami Sports & Life Co., Ltd.

In August 2001, Konami invested in Hudson Soft Co., Ltd. and made it an affiliated company.

In October 2001, Konami entered the toy candy business.

In February 2002, Konami entered the Xbox game business. Konami Sports Corporation acquired the shares of Daiei Olympic Sports Club, Inc. (currently Konami Olympic Sports Club Corporation, which would be merged by Konami Sports Corporation in October 2002.) and became Konami's subsidiary.

In August 2002, Konami's headquarters was moved from Minato, Tokyo to Chiyoda, Tokyo.

Also in 2003, Konami teamed up with the Japanese film production company, Toho Company, Ltd. in creating their own genre of tokusatsu TV series, known as the Chouseishin Series, in attempt to emulate and rival the success of Toei's Super Sentai genre.

In April 2005, Konami accepted new third-party shares issued by Hudson Soft Co., Ltd. and made it a consolidated subsidiary.

In June 2005, Konami has an office and gaming production facility in Paradise, Nevadamarker for its casino gaming equipment subsidiary, Konami Gaming.

In October 2005, Konami Logistics and Service, Inc. (currently Konami Manufacturing and Service, Inc.) was established.

In 2005, Konami was the sixth largest game developer in Japan after Nintendo, Square Enix, Capcom, Sega Sammy, and Namco Bandai.

In February 2006, Internet Revolution, Inc. was established as a joint venture company with Internet Initiative Japan Inc.

In March 2006, Konami acquired capital in Resort Solution Co., Ltd. (equity method affiliate) and business alliance. Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. was newly established to take over Konami’s digital entertainment business and Konami became a pure holding company.

In May 2006, Konami acquired entire stake in Combi Wellness Corporation and made it a subsidiary.

In August 2006, Konami entered the pachinko slot machine market.

In April 2007, Konami's headquarter was moved to Minato, Tokyo. The offices of Konami group in Tokyo were moved to Tokyo Midtownmarker.

In March 2008, Konami transformed Sportsplex Japan Co., Ltd. into a consolidated subsidiary through a share purchase.

Konami structure

Japan

  • Konami Corporation
    • Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
    • Konami Sports & Life Co., Ltd.
    • Konami Real Estate, Inc.
    • Konami Manufacturing and Service, Inc.
    • KPE, Inc.
    • Hudson Soft Company, Limited


Oceania

  • Konami Australia Pty Ltd


America

  • Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.: American Holding company, formerly Konami of America Inc., Konami Corporation of America. In 2003-10-13, Konami Corporation announced it was expanding its operations to Los Angeles, California under the new name of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. Its Redwood City, California-based North American sales, marketing, and operations subsidiary, Konami of America, Inc., to Konami Digital Entertainment America (KDEA), a Division of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
    • Konami Gaming, Inc.


Europe

  • Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH: Holding company Europe, formerly Konami Limited, Konami Corporation of Europe B.V.. In 2003-03-31, Konami of Europe announced it would be renamed as Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH at the start of Konami’s new financial year (2003-04-01).
    • Konami Digital Entertainment B.V.


Asia

  • Konami Digital Entertainment Limited
  • Konami Software Shanghai, Inc.


In 2005-11-07, Konami Corporation announced restructuring Konami Corporation into a holding company, by moving its Japanese Digital Entertainment Business segment under Konami Corporation. The Digital Entertainment Business would became Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. The newly established Konami Corporation was expected to begin operation in 2006-03-31.

Former subsidiaries

On December 16, 2004, Konami Corporation announced Konami Online, Inc., Konami Computer Entertainment Studios, Inc., Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, Inc., Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, Inc. would merge into Konami Corporation, effective on March 1, 2005.

On February 22, 2005, Konami Corporation announced Konami Media Entertainment, Inc. would merge into Konami Corporation, effective on March 1, 2005.

On March 11, 2005, Konami Corporation announced Konami Traumer, Inc would be merged back into Konami Corporation, effective on June 1, 2005.

On January 5, 2006, Konami Corporation announced the merger of Konami Sports Corporation merged with its parent company, Konami Sports Life Corporation. The parent would be dissolved under the merger, and Konami Sports would become the wholly owned subsidiary of Konami Corporation after share exchange between KC and KS. After the share exchange, KS would be renamed Konami Sports & Life Co.,Ltd. On February 28, 2006, Konami Sports Corporation merged with its parent company, Konami Sports Life Corporation, and became Konami Sports Corporation.

Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo

Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, (aka KCET, KCE Tokyo, Konami TYO, and Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo Co., Ltd.) is a former subsidiary of Konami Corporation. Konami absorbed KCET along with several of its other subsidiaries in 2005. KCET was a Tokyo-based game developer responsible for many of Konami's most notable franchises, including Winning Eleven, Castlevania, Dance Dance Revolution, Gradius, and Silent Hill.

Konami Computer Entertainment Japan

Konami JPN Ltd., formerly Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (KCEJ), is a video game developer and subsidiary of Konami Corporation, located in Tokyomarker, Japanmarker.

The development house has worked on titles for a wide variety of platforms, ranging from Game Boy to PlayStation. KCEJ is split into two different development teams, located in two offices in Tokyo. KCEJ East has worked on the PlayStation 2's Reiselied and 7 Blades as well as a number of dating sims for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Game Boy. KCEJ West is known for the best-selling Metal Gear Solid series, and the Beatmania and GuitarFreaks series.

On April 1, 2005, KCEJ (along with KCET and KCES) merged with its parent company. Hideo Kojima (the company's former vice president) has formed his own subsidiary, Kojima Productions.

Distribution of Konami's games in Australia

Since the NES was released in Australia in 1987, Konami's games were distributed by Mattel Australia, just like the NES was. In 1994 when Nintendo Co., Ltd opened Nintendo Australia Pty Ltd, Konami's products were distributed by Nintendo Australia until GT Interactive (Infogrames) Australia was opened when they took over the distribution. GT Interactive then turned into Infogrames Australia and then Atari Australia in early November.

Games

Konami has created and produced some of the biggest and most memorable video games over the past 15 years.

Genre-defining titles attributed to Konami include the vampire-hunting RPG Castlevania series, the survival horror Silent Hill series, the action/shooter Contra series, the platform/adventure Ganbare Goemon series, the espionage action Metal Gear series, the console role-playing Suikoden series, the music-oriented Bemani series (which includes Dance Dance Revolution, Beatmania, GuitarFreaks, DrumMania, and Pop'n Music, among others) and the dating simulation Tokimeki Memorial series.

Konami is particularly notable for its arcade shoot 'em up games such as Gradius, Life Force, Time Pilot, Gyruss, Parodius, Axelay, and TwinBee . Konami's games based on cartoon licenses, especially the Batman: The Animated Series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Tiny Toon Adventures series, are still remembered fondly, but other American productions like The Simpsons, Bucky O'Hare, G.I. Joe and The Goonies all have seen release at some point in the past by Konami either on arcades and/or video game consoles.

Recent cinematically styled franchises from Konami are the continuing Silent Hill survival horror franchise, and the Metal Gear series, which underwent a public renaissance with Metal Gear Solid. Another successful franchise is Winning Eleven, the spiritual sequel to International Superstar Soccer, which is extremely popular in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Europe, where it is sold by the name Pro Evolution Soccer. And in Japan, it is known for the extremely popular Jikkyō Powerful Pro Yakyū series (or Power Pro) baseball series. Zone of the Enders 1 & 2. The company has also recently picked up "Saw" from Brash Entertainment when the game's production had been suspended due to financial issues.

Konami is also known for its password, the Konami Code, which traditionally gives many power-ups in its games. Although variants also exist, as in the Parodius series, and button naming can differ depending on the controller used, the classic Famicom or NES combination is: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A. Although use of this code in more recent Konami productions has been sparse.

Marketing

Konami is represented by the goroawase number "573". "Five" in Japanese is go, changed to the voiceless form ko; "7" in Japanese is nana shortened to na; "3" in Japanese is mittsu, shortened to mi; "573" = ko-na-mi.

This number appears in many Konami telephone numbers and as a high score in Konami games like Dance Dance Revolution (which also featured a song with a max combo of the number) as an example; in some other games like Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, the number is occasionally used as minor self-reference to the company.

Movie production

In 2006, Konami started producing movies based on their popular franchises. Konami produced the Silent Hill movie (released in 2006) and has announced that they will produce a Metal Gear Solid movie. The plans for a Castlevania movie has been officially canceled.

Slot machine games

Konami produces a variety of slot machines including:
  • Rocky slots (They hold the license for the slot machine rights to the movie franchise.)
  • Money in the Bank
  • Solstice Gold
  • African Treasure
  • Atlantic Treasure
  • Aloha Gold
  • Cash Inferno
  • Coinopolis
  • Big Payoff
  • Billionaires
  • Lucky dice


Logos

Image:Konami 1st logo.png|1981–1986, still in use in a very small number of games.Image:Konami_2nd_logo.jpg|Logo with the waves (yellow orange and red), it was used from 1986–2003, still in use in a small number of games. Konami's name became non-italicized in 1998.Image:Konami.svg|2003–present, used in a large number of games.

See also



Notes

  1. 2003 Konami Group Report April 1, 2002 - March 31, 2003
  2. Konami Opens New Gaming Production Facility in Las Vegas
  3. KONAMI ESTABLISHES NEW COMPUTER & VIDEOGAMES OPERATION BASED IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
  4. Introducing Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH
  5. [Announcement of Group Restructuring(Merger Between Subsidiaries, Stock Exchange with subsidiary)and Shift to Holding Company Structure by Company Separation http://www.konami.co.jp/press/2005/11/041/r.17.11.07-e.html]
  6. Konami's Merger with Konami Online
  7. Konami's Merger with its Subsidiaries
  8. Konami -- KME Merger Announcement
  9. Announcement: Merger of Konami and Konami Traumer
  10. Announcement of official agreement for group restructuring (merger between subsidiaries, share exchange with subsidiary) and shift to holding company structure by company separation
  11. Konami Sports & Life history
  12. Yahoo
  13. Slots Hero


External links




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