Japanese company Konami has announced its plans to publish more Western-developed games in an attempt to expand its portfolio and cater to Western audiences.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Richard Jones, the senior European brand and business development manager at Konami, announced the new initiative began on June 3 with the release of Skelattack, an indie platformer developed by Californian studio Ukuza.
“The drive is towards publishing more titles from Western studios. So the focus for the European team is domestic audiences. Obviously everyone knows Konami, we have studios and teams in Japan, we have many well-known, well loved IPs,” he said. “They’re all being managed and looked after by our studios in Japan, and what we’re looking for is complementary titles, to build the portfolio with things that perhaps [are] new to Konami – Western titles for Western audiences.”
Konami has also expressed interest in innovative games regardless of size. “I guess the reason we’re talking about smaller titles is because the first title we announced is Skelattack, which is obviously an indie title,” Jones said.
“I think one of the reasons we’re looking to those types of smaller teams is just that there’s so much creativity out there with those guys – you know, teams working on small but ambitious titles,” Jones adds. “Those guys are the ones daring to do innovative games, and I think that’s something very exciting, which we wanted to support as a publisher.”
“[But] I think the criteria we’re looking for really is similar across all new IP regardless of size. Maybe some of those criteria become amplified with the smaller projects. I’m thinking specifically of people coming with fresh ideas, and teams that are pushing existing genres in new ways, or coming up with something genuinely unique.”
Jones also added that Konami is in it for “the long haul”, regardless of the success of Skelattack, with a focus on European studios. “We’re a small team and in order to manage these projects it makes sense if we’re working in similar time zones. So that’s why we’re focused on Europe. It’s our primary market,” he says.