Game creator Akira Sakuma says his popular train-themed series Momotaro Dentetsu is “officially finished.” He names one Konami employee in particular for allegedly crushing the franchise. Oh man.
6/03/15 8:33 Update: Konami has issued a statement, stating that that it wanted to continue the series. “Concerning what form the next entry will take, we are talking with Akira Sakuma, but unfortunately, we have yet to reach a conclusion.” Konami called the franchise “important” and thanked fans for their support all through the years.
This isn’t the first time Sakuma has named Konami employees he wasn’t happy with—nor is it the first time he’s ended the series. This time, though, it’s “official.” Noted!
Sakuma originally made Momotaro Dentetsu for Hudson. The franchise has sold tens of millions of copies in Japan. People love it! But by 2011, Konami had fully engulfed Hudson, fired people, and cancelled games.
At that time, Sakuma said that if the Momotaro Dentetsu development team was dissolved and totally new people were brought in, he would “end” the series. Of course, Kotaku also pointed out then that Konami owned the series, so he technically couldn’t “end” it. But Sakuma is so inseparable from Momotaro Dentetsu, that most players probably wouldn’t want to play the game if he wasn’t involved.
The transition from Hudson to Konami hardly seemed smooth, because later that year, Sakuma said he wasn’t going to make anymore Momotaro Dentetsu games. The following year, he went off on Twitter, writing, “As long as there’s a guy named Imura at Konami, I won’t make Momotaro Dentetsu.” Yikes. Naming names like this in a very popular fashion is unusual in Japan.
Fast forward to today, when Sakuma wrote the following on Twitter:
“Konami hasn’t gotten in touch with me at all. This is how they’ve tossed me aside for a while now. I’m announcing here that Momotaro Dentetsu is officially done. Ishikawa at Konami squelched everything.”
Ishikawa is a fairly common name. I’m not sure if that’s another developer or someone in management. What is clear is that Sakuma hasn’t been happy with Konami, that’s for sure.
Kotaku reached out to Konami for comment, but hasn’t yet heard back.
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