Konamis state of living death at E3 2016

first_imgI wanted to do something special for my last appointment at my first E3. I already got to play a plethora of exciting games, from Zelda to Battlefield to Bloodstained to Deus Ex Go to For Honor to Cuphead. I also played Final Fantasy XV. My last appointment needed its own sense of finality. So, I made an appointment with Konami, the dead mall of video game publishers. Here’s the post-mortem:Konami wasn’t on the show floor. They were showing their sole game, Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (PES 2017), in a meeting room on an upper floor. The space outside the room was quiet and empty, appropriate for a “video game publisher” more interested in maintaining spas than making software. Weirdly, the room itself was surprisingly busy, perhaps artificially so because it was so small. The PR rep was legitimately surprised and delighted to see me when I arrived and he saw my name on the list. I almost felt bad for coming solely to mock the company, but then I remembered how Silent Hills died so the Metal Gear Solid pachinko machine could live and was once again filled with righteous blogger snark.The Konami employee directed me to the demo area where most attendees were relaxing, drinking the free beer and eating the free candy and sandwiches while theoretically waiting to check out a new soccer game. It was a good method to lure in apathetic members of the mostly European press; I only heard the sport referred to as “football.”While waiting for the presentation to start, I checked out a demo of the PES manager companion app for iPad. I tried to take a picture but was told not to. The fact that Konami explicitly wants their mobile soccer manager app kept secret is endlessly hilarious.After a few more strange minutes, the presentation began. I’m no fan of simulation soccer games and I didn’t even stick around to play the demo, but based on the excited British man’s proclamations, the latest PES probably won’t be horrible. The physics have been reworked, the goalies have more personality, AI adapts to your strategies, and it all looks swell running on the Fox Engine, the tech behind Metal Gear Solid V.The perfectly preposterous hashtag is #ControlReality. During the presentation, we saw a chart comparing PES review scores versus FIFA review scores over the years. After a sharp decline about six years ago, PES is back on top, and the team behind PES 2017 hopes to continue the trend. Sure, why not?Last year was PES’s 20th anniversary, and the presenter said the team is now looking forward to the next 20 years of the franchise. But outside of this quaint soccer bubble, it’s hard to imagine Konami even existing as a video game publisher 20 years from now since they barely exist as one now. At the very least, they gave me the somber end to my first E3 I craved.So, thanks, Konami.last_img