Konami celebrates 30th anniversary

March marks Konami's 30th anniversary, and it has been quite a journey for the one-time Pachinko maker, from fledgling arcade developer who couldn't even score a distribution deal (SEGA had to sell "Frogger" machines for Konami) to a publishing juggernaut that saw hundreds of thousands of pre-sells for its "Metal Gear Solid 2" two years ago.

In the early 1980s, then-huge Stern was called in to distribute several of Konami's arcade titles in America, such as shoot-'em-up pioneers "Scramble" and "Super Cobra," "Amidar" (a clever "Donkey Kong" clone) and "Tutankham," the world's first tomb-raiding game.

Since the rise of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Konami has been more than comfortable publishing its own titles.

Impressed with its games, Nintendo in the mid-1980s signed Konami as its first official third-party publisher, marking the beginning of a partnership that produced such celebrated titles as "Metal Gear," "Gradius" and "Castlevania."

Konami's real home run is "Metal Gear Solid," the 3-D superspy game that is often heralded as one of the best games ever produced.

Best of all, though, a new "Castlevania" is being prepped for the PlayStation 2.

News source: Chicago Tribune

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