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Holiday Profile: Konami

Metal Gear Solid 4 is just one of Konami's gambits for the next generation. In the short term there's cute family game Elebits. Next-gen.biz spoke to COO Geoff Mulligan.

One of the curiosities that make this industry so intriguing is the manner in which different publishers approach the same problem but come away with different solutions. A case in point is how far to support hardware launches.

On the one hand there are clear benefits to being there at launch, such as increasing profile among leading edge consumers while establishing brands at the front-end of a console's life and also gaining development experience. It's also a good way to maintain friendly relations with the hardware manufacture, although this is less important these days.

On the other hand development is expensive and user-bases are small at launch. Consumers tend to focus on a small elite of products, often released by first parties.

Konami's solution has been to hold its fire, at least as far as PlayStation 3 is concerned. Metal Gear Solid 4 will probably be released in the spring (officially; no release date as yet). Geoff Mulligan, COO at Konami US says, "We'll ship the product when there's a reasonable install base. There's an age old dilemma about launch titles. Some of our competitors have sunk serious coin in having PS3 launch titles, some with and some without support from SCEA. In a perfect world you'll sell one to one but even if you achieve that from now until Christmas that's just a few hundred thousand units. You're going to get back a $15 million dollar investment on four hundred thousand units plus marketing? That's a tough call...."

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