Konami just had its best-ever year, thanks to games you’ve never heard of

Konami has announced that its last financial year (April 2021—March 2022) was the most profitable in the company’s history by a huge distance. The Japanese publisher’s operating profit was ¥74.4 billion, which translates to roughly $577 million USD, and its net profit was ¥54.8 billion or about $425 million.

Despite the perception among some that Konami doesn’t make games anymore and is basically a pachinko business, the financial results show that the opposite is the case. What is true, however, is that many of Konami’s biggest successes either don’t come to the West, or largely go under the radar outside of their captive audiences.

A big recent success, for example, is Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel, released on Steam in January. This F2P game has since amassed over 30 million players and will doubtless be kept going for many years to come. But Konami’s also had a big hit with Momtaro Dentetsu, which is only available on Switch in Japan, and sold over 3.5 million (this is a long-running series, originally a HudsonSoft joint, that’s basically a cheery board game about train stations).

(Image credit: Konami)

Within the financials Konami breaks down its business into Digital Entertainment (home videogames), Amusement (here are the pachinko machines, as well as arcade games like Beatmania), Sports (it runs leisure centres in Japan), and rather confusingly Gaming & Systems (casino software). Of Konami’s ¥299.5 billion in revenue over this financial year, ¥215 billion of that is from Digital Entertainment, and ¥19.5 billion from Amusement. There’s no clearer language than money, and that means 72% of Konami’s revenue is coming from videogames.

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