Simon Quest is the latest game to pick up where Konami left off screenshot

Technically, Konami is still making games with some of their classic franchises. They have a new Contra game in the works, a new 2D Castlevania title set for release this year, and last I checked, the servers for Metal Gear Survive were still up and running. That said, all three of these titles are “in-name-only” entries in their respective franchises.

That new Contra is a top-down shooter that actually punishes you for shooting. From all reports, the next Castlevania is planned to be a multi-player freemium mobile title with microtransactions and auto-runner elements. As for Metal Gear Survive, it’s an always online competitive game with little story, developed without the input of series author and creative mastermind Hideo Kojima. None of them are giving the old Konami audience what they want, and that’s all without even getting into other IP that Konami owns like Bonk and Gradius that they haven’t done anything new with for about a decade. 

This all leaves a Konami-sized whole in the market that ex-staff and new indies seem more than happy to fill. Kojima’s Death Stranding isn’t heavy on stealth, but other than that, it looks to have everything that Metal Gear Solid fans want. Former Castlevania series producer Koji Igarashi appears to have a heavy metal hit on his hands with Bloodstained, which, despite some technical misgivings, has met with commercial and critical success. The same is true for Joy Masher’s Blazing Chrome, which is the best Contra rebirth since, well, Contra ReBirth. After similar success with the Belmont-flavored Odallus, they seem to be on a roll with their callbacks to that era in Konami’s history. 

Effective marketing has helped these games get people’s attention, but there are even more Konami-likes hiding under the surface if you’re willing to dig, like that Gradius-style Super Hydorah from Locomalito, the Maze of Galiousinspired La-Mulana series, and the upcoming Simon Quest: Transylvania Adventure, which might be the most “on the nose” of them all. It may also be the greatest at actually improving on the source material, as opposed to just iterating on it. 

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