Konami has been undergoing some very abrupt changes over the last few weeks, with plenty of fan back lash following the Silent Hills incident
, and have faced increasing speculation that the company is looking to move away from arcade and/or console games
and will be taking a stronger focus on their gambling division.
At the time, the increasingly long list of incidents were written off as coincidence, however, speculation will not be helped by new laws passed in Nevada last week allowing skill-based gambling machines in casinos, which the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers heavily lobbied for. The reason being is that the President of the AGEM, also happens to be the Chief Compliance Officer of Konami's gambling division.
AGEM expressed their excitement last week in a statement
"AGEM is especially proud to be the initiator and one of the driving forces behind the milestone event," said Thomas Jingoli, AGEM President and Chief Compliance Officer of Konami Gaming. "We'd like to thank the Gaming Control Board and Chairman A.G. Burnett for supporting this initiative over the past year and we are excited that Nevada will be the first in the world to offer the full extent of this innovative new form of gaming."
This bill represents the "first time AGEM has specifically initiated legislation in its 15-year history". But what does this bill actually mean for the gaming industry in Nevada? According to AGEM's statement, "the passage by the Nevada Legislature of Senate Bill 9... allow for variable-payback percentages in slot machines to enhance the player experience by bringing true skill-based gaming, arcade-game elements, hybrid games and other unique features and technologies to the casino floor for the first time."
Basically, games such as slot machines can now include skill-based payouts that could be integrated with classic video gameplay features, such as driving, shooters, shoot-em-ups, sports and more. Game publishers, such as Konami, could design licensed slot machines using their most recognizable properties and popular gameplay as well.
Just to fuel speculation futher that the company is moving away from traditional gaming, there are also reports (such as this one from Polygon
) in which Konami's new CEO, Hideki Hayakawa, has reportedly confirmed - in a translated interview - that the future of gaming for Konami will be in mobile gaming.
"Gaming has spread to a number of platforms, but at the end of the day, the platform that is always closest to us, is mobile. Mobile is where the future of gaming lies," Hayakawa said, "With multiplatform games, there's really no point in dividing the market into categories anymore. Mobiles will take on the new role of linking the general public to the gaming world."
The bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval, and is supported by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Resort Association.
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