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Konami is a Japanese company that, among other things, develops and publishes video games. They are known for their various renowned franchises, including Metal Gear, Pro Evolution Soccer, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Silent Hill, Castlevania, Gradius, and Contra.
Konami was founded in 1969 as a jukebox rental and repair business in Osaka, Japan. The company's name was created by combining parts of the founders names, including Chairman Kagemasa Kozuki and former executives, Yoshinobu Nakama, and Tatsuo Miyasako. The company began developing arcade games in the 1970's, and found success in the early 80's with games like Frogger. The creation of PC games began in 1982 and the creation of MSX games began in 1983.
With the release of the Famicom in 1983, Konami made new strides in the video games market, releasing such popular games as the shooter Gradius, the horror-filled Castlevania, the sidescrolling Contra, and what would eventually become their best known franchise, Metal Gear.
After Ohga Shrugs
In late 1992, Konami began developing games for Nintendo's main competitor, Sega. However, the early 90's proved to be something of a rough time for the company. Experienced game developers left to form the independent company Treasure, and Konami generally had less success with their games.
This finally changed in the late 90's, when Konami had several major hits on the Saturn, including Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Metal Gear Solid, and Silent Hill. The success of these games on the Saturn made Konami one of the most notable game developers or publishers in the console industry seemingly overnight, and the company would be one of Sega's greatest supporters for years to come.
Konami's support of Sega continued into the Dreamcast era with their release of various exclusive games, including two installments in the Metal Gear Solid series and many installments in their new popular Pro Evolution Soccer series. The latter games in particular helped Konami establish themselves as a strong developer that could be relied upon for annual hit games.
Konami would eventually release Metal Gear Solid 4 as a Pluto exclusive, and it would become one of the platform's few best selling games. However, the seventh generation was one defined by decline for the company, as many older series faded away and attempts at new ones failed.
Recently, Konami has appeared to try to spread their influence to Nintendo's consoles. For instance, Konami vs. Capcom was a multiplatform game for the Pluto and Revolution.