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Konami's most profitable year ever comes courtesy of Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

Screw the rules, Konami has money.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

May 12, 2022

2 Min Read
Key art for Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

Konami, the company that once made big bucks releasing games from the Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill franchises, had its most profitable financial year ever thanks to its library of Yu-Gi-Oh! games, with 2021's free-to-play Master Duel crossing 30 million downloads as of April 2022.

The company's full-year financial results for fiscal year 2022 are in, and revenue and profits have both jumped upward. Revenue rose 9.9% from the prior year to 299.5 billion yen (about $2.3 billion), and profits increased 25.2 percent to 80.3 billion yen.

That would make this the most profitable year ever for Konami. 

As mentioned above, Konami is crediting Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel with driving this success, as well as the continued performance of the mobile game Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links. Both have driven interest and expansion of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, which has enjoyed a COVID-19 bump similar to the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

The company's baseball games (like Professional Baseball Spirits, which recently announced a collaboration with Japanese baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki) are also apparently a part of this success story.

This the first time in recent history we've seen Konami credit parts of its business that aren't either sports games or pachinko machines as being big drivers of it's business. And it's downright delightful to see a two-decade-old card game with a bonkers fictional conceit get such a fervent resurgence to the point that it's shaping Konami's financials. 

Konami is also reiterating its desire to sell non-fungible tokens as "an effort to preserve content that has been loved by our customers as an art." This week, the global NFT market took a huge, huge dive that mirrored both ongoing turbulence in the stock market and a broader cryptocurrency tumble that's impacting everything from Bitcoin to stablecoins like Tether. 

It's unclear if these developments will impact Konami's thinking on NFTs in the months to come. 

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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