It seems in the effort to continue downsizing itself Konami has started licensing off its franchises, the first of which is Momotaro Densetsu to Nintendo. If you’re wondering why this isn’t a game that you’ve probably heard it’s because Momotaro Dentetsu, commonly abbreviated to Momotetsu, is a Japan only series of board game style games that is usually compared to Monopoly. While the series started on the Famicon, the Japanese name for the NES, the last console version of Momotetsu was released in 2010 and the last mobile game was released in 2012.
Konami received the rights for Momotetsu as well as many other franchises when they purchased Hudson Soft back in 2011/2012. While the series might be coming back with the help of Nintendo, the series creator, Akira Sakuma, left Konami a couple of months ago after a disagreement with where the franchise was headed, he tweeted the following:
Konami hasn’t gotten in touch with me at all. This is how they’ve tossed me aside for a while now. I’m announcing here that Momotaro Dentetsu is officially done. Ishikawa at Konami squelched everything.
While the original creator is no longer with the franchise this might be a sign that for titles IPs that Konami no longer wishes to support that it could license or even sell them off. Other titles that Hudson Soft does own include games like Bomberman, Momotaro Densetsu, Star Soldier, Dungeon Explorer, Nectaris and Bloody Roar. Sadly this also isn’t the only news that is coming out of Konami today as it seems that the company downsize is getting serious.
I think that this is a fantastic move on Konami’s part. It seems they are extremely set on their goal to become a smaller company mostly focusing on the mobile and arcade market but they aren’t letting any of their big titles go to waste. It will be interesting to see if they ever take the step further and outright sell a franchise or if they stick to licensing while there’s still high demand for an IP. Konami has been a bit rocky of late in the public eye so it will be interesting to see what steps they take in the future.
What do you think of Nintendo licensing Momotetsu? Are there any other Hudson Soft games you would like to see another company take? even larger than that are there any Konami franchises you would like to see another company pick up?