…..or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomberman
Note: The article is an opinion piece. It’s fine if you disagree, it’s fine if you do agree, but either way let us know what you think in the comments!
Ever since Jim Sterling coined the phrase, #FucKonami was and still is, a poignant and relevant slogan used to express gamers collective displeasure with the company. It is very easy to see why people embraced that sentiment. Within the span of the single year, the company went from a respected game maker to forum goers favorite punching bag. They had a very public breakup with legendary game designer Hideo Kojima, they canceled promising titles such as Silent Hill, and the only new content they seem to release nowadays are in the form of pachinko machines and pachislots.
Now, as bad as Konami has been, I think it has become a bit too easy to just spout “#FuckKonami” and call it a day. What began as a righteous call to arms has became a tired meme… one that people use just to use. More than once, in comments on articles and YouTube videos for Super Bomberman R for the Nintendo Switch, I’ve seen it rear its ugly head. What’s odd about this is that Super Bomberman R is exactly the sort of game we, as gamers, should want Konami to make. It is them revisiting an older franchise and, seemingly, treating it with the respect that it deserves. Is Konami too far gone for us to care? Do we just not support Konami no matter they do?
I say no. Remember, fellow gamers, that it was not all that long ago we were complaining about how awful “Crapcom” was how wonderful it was that Keiji Inafune had escaped that sinking ship. How time can change our opinion of things. Companies change, leadership changes, and our view of things change as well. Now, I am not saying we need to start blinding loving Konami or even that we shouldn’t use the #FucKonami tag the next time they invariably screw things up. What I am saying is that we should make our voices heard with our wallets. When a company does something right, we need to support that just as much as we need to boycott them when they blunder. If we want to tell Konami that we want more of their older IPs, and that we want to see them continue making traditional games, then we need to buy those games when we are given the chance.
Konami is a company with a long and storied video game history, and a library of franchises that include Frogger, Silent Hill, Castlevania, and, of course, Metal Gear. To give up on them means giving up on all of the potential of those series… and simply boycotting them will likely not result in the sale of those IPs to other companies or in Konami itself going under. Let us not forget, after all, that Konami now makes much of its money off of its health clubs and its gambling and pachinko machines. Gaming is still a major part of what they do, but it is not their bottom line. It may, therefore, be better to use a bit of positive reinforcement with the company, as simply not buying proper entries will only result in those games not being made in the future. It should also be noted that these series still have value to Konami outside of traditional gaming. That is why we see things like Castlevania or Metal Gear pachinko games in the first place, and why it would be unlikely for them to sell them off.
Listen, what I am proposing here is simple. When a video game company, any company really, does things we don’t agree with… we shouldn’t support those particular things. When they do happen to do the right thing, however, we need to step up and let them know we are paying attention. We can #FucKonami, but we should still remember to love the franchises they made. Bomberman and friends deserve that much, at least.