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Konami killing off dozens of legacy iOS apps in Japan

Veteran games publisher Konami will permanently retire a large number of its paid iOS apps in Japan as it shifts its focus toward free-to-play titles, Inside Games reports.

The report, translated by games industry consultant Serkan Toto, states that players will still be able to play apps downloaded prior to the upcoming mass-delisting. However, retired games will not be updated to support new iOS firmware revisions, likely rendering them unplayable at a later date.

Related: Konami is making more Metal Gear games, with or without the series’ creator

Konami announced that it will retire 31 apps in all, including several that were translated and released in North America. The company has not stated whether its app removals are scheduled for Japan only, or if it has similar mass-deletion plans for other territories.

Apps getting the axe include Metal Gear Solid Touch, Silent Hill: The Escape, Silent Scope, and DanceDanceRevolution S, along with many other games based on Konami’s popular franchises. Paid apps based on Love Plus, Hyper Sports, Frogger, and other long-running series will also be removed from the iTunes App Store. Konami’s free-to-play app lineup is apparently unaffected by this week’s announcement.

The company will additionally cull a handful of apps based on franchises from Hudson Soft, a now-defunct games developer and publisher Konami acquired in 2012. Notably, the decision will see the closure of three separate Bomberman games: Bomberman Touch: The Legend of Mystic Bomb, Bomberman Chains, and Bomberman Dojo. Konami has not announced any plans to replace these apps or continue the Bomberman series in any capacity.

News of the upcoming mass app delisting follows recent reports criticizing Konami’s treatment of its staff. The company reportedly ousted longtime employee and Metal Gear Solid series director Hideo Kojima earlier this year, leading to the cancellation of the in-progress Silent Hills.

New developments within the company’s pachinko division suggests that Konami is shifting its focus away from the console games sector and repurposing its franchises with an eye for the mobile and gambling markets. Both generally require substantially lower developmental overhead than AAA console games, whose average budgets have ballooned over the last few decades to match increasing technical expectations.