Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Australian Game Shops "Fixing" MGS5 Marketing

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is almost here. And with the recent upheaval over at Konami, Australian retailer JB Hi-Fi wants to remind you that MGS5 is a Hideo Kojima game. So much so that they have taken the liberty of adjusting their endcaps to reflect this with a huge ass sign that blocks out Konami's logo and replaces it with "A Hideo Kojima Game." Say what you will about Australia and their strict laws with censorship, they know how to be cheeky when it counts.

After the cancellation of highly anticipated Silent Hills, featuring a mash-up for Kojima and film director Guillermo del Toro, Konami's recent business decisions have been highly questionable. We knew for a while that Kojima was considering leaving, but he was given free reign on his work and a hefty budget to produce it. Konami kept his genius around, until it started to hinder their bottom line. It was announced in March that after MGS5 release, Kojima and his team would make the move away from Konami, but would still act as a consultant on future projects. Since then, everything has gone down-hill. Konami altered all of the MGS5 box-art and most of the advertising campaigns. The product is no longer a "Kojima" game and has been branded to to Konami logos and icons. Future MGS titles will not bear his name. But sources say Kojima will still be involved in the projects.

The company is also going in a new direction: focusing more on mobile games and less on console content. Which also means slimmed down staff numbers since smaller teams can work on mobile products compared to a console game.

It's been a tumultuous year for Konami and Kojima. Frankly, it's quite amazing that Kojima is even willing to put up with the release of MGS5. And the reception from long-time fans and consumers is that Konami is setting themselves up for troubles in the long run. While many will still purchase MGS5, we're doing it for Kojima. Not Konami.

So it's fitting that JB "re-brand" the new branding and putting Kojima's name back on the shelves. And in the glory that is Kojima-san, he has reposted the images on his Twitter feed. Because even he knows how dumb this move from Konami is in breaking up a tradition that has produced quality, creative, innovative games. And it's not just one JB store in Australia. Nope! All of them have taken up the task of "fixing" the signs throughout the store to reflect Kojima, not Konami.

I like this JB place. If I lived in Australia, I'd buy my heavily edited products from them.

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