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Creator / Konami

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The Konami Code – specifically, the code as used to start a 2-player game of Contra where both players start with 30 lives

Konami is a popular Tokyo-based maker of video games, toys, slot machines and trading cards, founded in 1969 as a jukebox rental and repair business in Osaka, Japan. Konami transitioned to arcade development in the '70s, and was responsible for arcade hits throughout the '80s such as Frogger, Gradius, Contra, and Track & Field. It became one of the leading third-party developers during the NES era, thanks to best-selling ports of many of its arcade hits, as well as console-exclusive titles such as Castlevania, and Metal Gear. It is currently the fourth-largest game company in Japan, behind Nintendo, Sega Sammy and Bandai Namco Entertainment.

Due to Nintendo's restrictions on third-party licensing during that era, Konami could release only five games per year for the NES. Konami found a way around this by creating a quasi-independent subsidiary known as "Ultra Games", which published the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, Skate or Die, Metal Gear, and an expanded version of Gyruss, among others. (They made a similar move in Europe with Palcom Software Ltd.) After Nintendo relaxed its standards, Konami closed Ultra in 1992 and absorbed its remaining employees into its American branch. Some of the other Konami staff left that same year to create Treasure Co. Ltd. Konami also owned a majority stake in Hudson Soft until making it a wholly owned subsidiary.


In the mid-80s, Konami became famous by one of their Classic Cheat Codes, dubbed the "Konami Code". First appearing to US players in the 1986 NES port of Gradius and made popular in the 1988 NES port of Contra, it provided the players of the notoriously-diffiicult game with 30 lives, rather than the original 3. Due to the game's popularity, the Konami Code now enjoys a pop-culture status on par with the famous 'XYZZY' keyword from Colossal Cave Adventure — mention the 'Konami Code', and it's a sure bet than any console gamer worth his eyeteeth will know exactly which code you mean.

Konami came under fire in 2015 when, for a number of reasons, they canned Silent Hills and Hideo Kojima left Konami because they had given him a hard time. Following that, Konami announced their departure from console gaming to focus on mobile gaming and a larger focus on its non-video gaming domestic efforts, namely pachinko and slot machines — a move that has left a sour taste in many fans' mouths, especially Western fans. While Konami still produces arcade games, most notably the BEMANI franchise, many Westerners find no relevance in such games due to a combination of No Export for You and an overall decline in arcade games in the West. There were reports that the rumors of departing from console gaming were false and Konami was hiring for a "new Metal Gear" project — but this turned out to be the critically and commercially panned spin-off Metal Gear Survive as well has yet another pachinslot machine.


In no way related to the Konata/Kagami pairing of Lucky Star, or to any character with the name, or to any kind of "economy". Nor is it the Norwegian person's wife.

Konami is responsible for the following video game franchises:

Licensed Games:

Series produced/sponsored by Konami:



Names associated with Konami:

  • Masato Maegawa (founder of Treasure, started off at Konami in the mid 80s working on WEC Le Mans 24, Penguin Adventure, Kitten Kaboodle, Axelay and Space Manbow. In addition to working on original titles, he was also tasked with ports (the NES versions of Skate Or Die) sequels (Gradius III, Super Castlevania IV) and licensed games (The Simpsons, Bucky O Hare and Tiny Toon Adventures Babs' Big Break). He eventually left Konami to establish Treasure, and the rest is history.)
  • Shigeharu Umezaki (was responsible for porting Contra to the NES and was one of the heads of the former Kobe unit, he is now the president of Good Feel)
  • Etsunobu Ebisu (Was once one of the heads of the Kobe unit and the real life inspiration for Ebisumaru, he now works for Good Feel)
  • Koji "IGA" Igarashi (co-designer of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and former producer of the Castlevania series from 2001's Castlevania Chronicles to Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, as well as Tokimeki Memorial 1's scenario writer, and programmer of the PC-Engine ports of Gradius II and Detana!! Twinbee). IGA left Konami in March 2014 to become a freelance developer; his first post-Konami game is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a Spiritual Successor to his Castlevania games.
    • Ayami Kojima (artist of various Castlevania artwork, though she's done some non-Castlevania stuff as well. No relation to...)
  • Hideo Kojima (lead designer for the Metal Gear series, as well as Snatcher and Policenauts. Also the producer of the Zone of the Enders series and the Boktai series, and the drama director of Tokimeki Memorial Drama Series 1 : Nijiiro no Seishun). After a series of events driving a rift between him and the studio, Kojima has left Konami and established his own studio, Kojima Productions.
  • Yoshiki Okamoto (designer of the classic arcade games Time Pilot and Gyruss, before his firing; he would later join Capcom)
  • Naoki Maeda (sound director for the Dance Dance Revolution series and the producer of a majority of Konami original songs that debuted in DDR)
    • Takayuki Ishikawa (aka dj Taka; he is to beatmania IIDX as Naoki is to DDR)
  • Mikio Saito (aka Metal Yuhki ; composer of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, and composer and music producer of the Tokimeki Memorial series)
  • Shingo Takatsuka (nickname "Seabass"; head designer and producer for the Pro Evolution Soccer series)
  • Michiru Yamane (composer for many Castlevania soundtracks)
  • Akira Yamaoka (the composer/sound designer of Silent Hill)

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