A Requiem for Konami?

On the heels of a harrowing new report that reveals the turbulence inside the company behind Metal Gear and other classics, the USG team contemplates happier times.

Analysis by Jeremy Parish, USgamer Team, .

Overnight, Nikkei Shimbun — Japan's Wall Street Journal, approximately — published a grim report on the current state of former video game development powerhouse Konami. While a troubling read for fans of the company's classic works, none of Nikkei's findings should come as a real shock for the attentive.

On the contrary, Nikkei has essentially confirmed what many have suspected for some time now: Konami is run with an authoritative hand by company co-founder Kagemasa Kozuki (whose name contributed the "Ko" to "Konami") and has all but abandoned its video game business in favor of more profitable, less risky projects. The apparent ouster of superstar designer Hideo Kojima from his own studio has been the most high-profile indication of this tectonic shift in Konami's direction, but based on Nikkei's article, Kojima is merely the latest in what appears to be a universal dismantling of Konami's legendary talent.

Sounds like Metal Gear Solid V's controversial new poster isn't the only bloodbath around here.

Translator and editor Thomas James, aka pepsimangb, published a loose summary of Nikkei's report via Twitter (you can check out an easier-to-read version here), shedding light on the situation for Western readers. Within Nikkei's report you can find what appears to be a no-nonsense explanation of the Kojima situation — he was pushed out of the company as a result of delays and budget overruns with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain — as well as claims that long-running franchises like Suikoden, Love Plus, and Hudson's Japan-only game series Momotarou Dentetsu have been taken out behind the woodshed.

As of press time, we've inquired about an official response to the Nikkei report and have been told it's pending. Nevertheless, while it would be comforting to think that Nikkei's report deals in alarmism and exaggeration, those aren't the respected publication's stock in trade. Certainly the article bears out a number of insider rumors I've heard over the years as well. For example, when former Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi all but vanished from the public eye about five years ago, I was told he'd essentially been demoted to a janitor's role. While that seemed like the most ridiculous form of hyperbole at the time, Nikkei indeed reports that employees who fall into disfavor with Kozuki (no matter how highly placed in the corporate hierarchy) are reassigned to work as security guards or as janitorial staff at Konami's fitness clubs. Actual firings tend to be rare in Japan for both cultural and legal reasons, but the equivalent action — shameful demotions to meaningless positions — has reportedly become a common practice at Konami.

Meet the new boss.

Other Nikkei statements, such as the claim that employee email addresses are periodically randomized in order to confound outside contacts, are definitely true; even employees whose entire purpose is to communicate with people beyond the company's walls can become hidden behind scrambled email addresses. Anyone who's ever dealt with Konami's internal PR has likely experienced the frustration of scouring recent press releases in pursuit of up-to-date info for key contacts. While many major Japanese game publishers tend to be walled-off to the public, even a company as secretive as Nintendo maintains a certain degree of transparency through its shareholders' meetings. Konami, on the other hand, seems clam-tight; as NeoGAF moderator duckroll points out, this likely has much to do with the family-operated nature of the business. Satoru Iwata was Nintendo's first leader to have been drawn from outside the Yamauchi family, sure, but that's nothing compared to the quorum the Kozuki family has over Konami.

The deprecation of video games as a business for Konami has been in the cards for quite some time. Again, their fitness clubs have been a major money-maker for more than a decade, and casino and mobile properties are by far the company's biggest breadwinners in the gaming space. But even without any inside information, it hasn't been too difficult to watch the arc of Konami's trajectory away from the video games that have defined it for millions of fans. The writing was clearly on the wall several years ago at Tokyo Game Show, when their booth consisted entirely of two properties: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and mobile game Dragon Collection. "Dragon Collection is the big money-maker," a company representative mentioned when I admitted I'd never heard of the game. There was an air of inevitability about it all.

Clearly Konami isn't getting out of video games entirely; while writing up this summary I received a press release about the launch of a new Yu-Gi-Oh game for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. But the Konami we knew throughout the '80s and '90s — the one whose every release was practically guaranteed to be a masterpiece pushing the boundaries of contemporary console technology — appears to be a thing of the past, along with all those beloved games they created. We'll undoubtedly see the series we love from time to time... but probably not the way we'd prefer.

Konami in its prime created many of the games that helped make those of us at USgamer into lifelong fans. Below, the team has shared some of our favorite Konami memories and experiences. What are yours?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game
Bob Mackey Senior Writer

Looking back at the history of Konami, it's seemingly impossible to single out just a few of the great games they produced over dozens of genres and dozens of years — but I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway. As a child of the late '80s/early '90s, no other developer really captured my attention like Konami. Especially with their outstanding arcade games: I distinctly remember the first moment I ran into their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cabinet back in 1989. Even then, I knew to be wary of licensed games, but the attention-to-detail packed into every level showed me the people working on this thing actually cared. (The same couldn't be said for the NES adaptation.) As soon as I got back from that shopping trip, I phoned up friends to tell them about the amazing experience I had that might have been some wonderful dream brought on by too much Lik-M-Aid.

A few years later, Konami upped the stakes with a premise that never should have made sense: a Simpsons arcade brawler. And yet, it somehow worked. Like Ninja Turtles before it, The Simpsons strove for authenticity, but took things a step further: Each level is absolutely crammed full of gags, characters, and other detail from the shows first two seasons, and even though they bent the rules just a little for the sake of moving things along—last I checked, Moe's Tavern isn't underneath a graveyard—but I'd gladly accept Mr. Smithers as a mad bomber for the chance to hit Life in Hell rabbits with giant mallets in Krustyland.

Understandably, Konami realized that making expensive console games isn't the best way to turn a profit. And while that doesn't excuse their treatment of employees, from a purely Capitalist standpoint, it's hard to blame them for ducking out of a hostile industry. But my bleeding heart doesn't feel the same way: This is a company with a legacy and a history that needs to be preserved and maintained, and I can only hope they make an attempt to do this outside of licensed pachinko tables.

Blades of Steel
Kat Bailey Senior Editor

The Konami symbol used to be an almost universal indicator for quality. At their best they could stand toe-to-toe with Capcom, their rival and the other powerhouse of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. Konami also had what were four of the very best games on the Sony PlayStation - Silent Hill, Suikoden II, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Metal Gear Solid. Those four games in particular have helped Konami retain a diehard following that has stuck through the company through thick and thin over the years.

As for me, I've personally followed Konami in one form or another since the days of the NES. I didn't play a lot of Castlevania or Gradius, but I did manage to finish both Contra and Super Contra; and yes, I knew the famous Konami Code by heart. My fondest memories, though, are reserved for Blades of Steel - the sports game that was arguably the best hockey sim of its generation. Played from a somewhat unconventional side-to-side perspective, it had slapshots, checking, fights, and penalties, though no offside rule (that just made it faster and more fun).

But of course everyone remembers the synthesized voices the best, beginning with the muffled "The Blades of Steel" and including such phrases as "Get the pass" and "AAAHHH!" It did more than even some sims today to capture the speed, action, and slightly goofy appeal of ice hockey. Along with NHL 94 and a handful of other games, it's one of a handful of sports sims that are still fondly remembered today.

Much like Capcom, my memories of Konami are wrapped up more in individual franchises than the company itself. But for a very long time Konami's logo and their distinctive chime meant quality for me and it's a shame to see that fall by the wayside. At least we still have PES... for now, anyway.

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Nadia Oxford Contributor

As silly as it is to say, I feel an odd sense of personal betrayal at the news about Konami disavowing its legacy in the name of cheap mobile games. This is a company whose products I've worshiped since I was 11, but it seemingly doesn’t care about its fans' feelings any more than Dracula cares about a lash from a low-level leather whip.

Of course, business is business, even in an industry that's supposed to be dedicated to fun and frolic. That doesn’t stop other game companies from maintaining a balance between straining for a profit and keeping things whimsical. Reviewing the legacy of Nintendo’s late Satoru Iwata also served as a prime reminder that fun can indeed mesh with business.

But whereas Nintendo takes great pride in its decades-old franchises, Konami has cast its properties aside with a callousness that’s heartbreaking. I feel like a kid who built a soapbox racer with their older brother, only to have that brother become too "cool" for the project and subsequently bust it up to prove something to the other neighborhood kids.

All I can do is clutch my striped beanie, finger the propeller and say "Gee whiz, Konami. I thought we had somethin' special going here" while I ruminate over my memories

Some folks might point and laugh when I reveal the first Konami game that made a huge impact on me, though. It was Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. I first played it at a friend's house when we were supposed to be working on a French project for school. We spent hours in the cursed land of Warakiya instead of muddling through the nuances of Quebecois dialect. We got a pretty crummy mark on the project as a consequence, but man, it was worth it.

I borrowed the game for myself and meandered here and there. It didn’t matter that the townspeople's clues are vague, or that the game gives you little indication of what you’re supposed to do next. I just found great pleasure in opening up new areas for myself, whipping werewolves, and harvesting Dracula's body parts. Ew.

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest kept me busy for hours, and the fact most of those hours were aimless made no difference to me.

Metal Gear
Jeremy Parish Editor-in-Chief

As for myself, I've come to terms with the fact that I will almost certainly never play another new Castlevania game or experience modern-day Gradius in HD. I don't have to like it, but I can also be realistic about it. You can never go home again, and all that.

It chafes, though. Konami to me was synonymous with great video games throughout the NES and Super NES years, and even on into the PlayStation era. The company's designers always knew how to push available tech in stunning directions. And Konami games weren't simply programming showcases, either; underneath the top-grade visuals and music, you had some of the best design in the industry. Kat and I recently experienced just how well 1987's original Metal Gear holds up today, and the design of the original Castlevania was so subtle and well-considered that simply contemplating the sophistication of Simon Belmont's sprite launched me into an ongoing long-term project of picking apart the creative design of classic video games. But even when Konami produced a dud, you could still be sure you were about to witness industry-leading audio-visual design.

During the NES era, Konami sat alongside Capcom as the company to follow. You knew one of those silver-trimmed boxes would offer incredible fun, even for a licensed game like Tiny Toons. As I've been counting down the best Super NES games released in America, I came to realize that every single Konami game so far has ended up on the list. And when I began importing games in the PlayStation era, I suddenly became aware of dozens of Japanese Konami releases I'd missed out on — they weren't always as good as the games that made their way to the U.S., but it was worth exploring to find just how many treasures lurked behind a wall of impenetrable kanji. Back when I used to buy tons of game CD soundtracks, my collection was approximately 50% Konami, 50% Squaresoft. Konami has been a force to reckon with in video gaming for nearly as long as I've been gaming.

These things can't last forever, though, and plenty of other favorite publishers have fallen by the wayside. At least with Konami there's still a slim hope that someday they might re-enter the gaming market again — which is more than you can say for a company that's truly and completely gone, a la Irem or Compile. Right?

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Comments 32

  • Avatar for Daikaiju #1 Daikaiju 2 years ago
    It's not just the withdrawl that stings, but the near "Mr. Burns" style in which they're doing it.Edited August 2015 by Daikaiju
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  • Avatar for camchow #2 camchow 2 years ago
    RIP Konami. It's too hard to pick favorites, will always love the amazing video game music they made. Suikoden and Castlevania would probably be my favorite series of theirs but it's really hard to not want to mention their others as well. Too many great games, so sad to see what has happened to them. I guess one last shout out to the Goemon / Mystical Ninja series, loved the goofy fun in the SNES and N64 game.
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  • Avatar for SigurdVolsung #3 SigurdVolsung 2 years ago
    My feelings are pretty much the same as Nadia's on this. I feel a bit left out in the cold with my love of those games. I just hope that all of their great games stay available over the years. An even worse thing than a developer going away is when their games become unavailable due to licencing hell.
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  • Avatar for jeremyparish #4 jeremyparish 2 years ago
    Remember, you can't spell "corporate security" without "corpse."
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  • Avatar for boxofficepoison #5 boxofficepoison 2 years ago
    Sega recently heavily shifted it's focus from console games to a primary focus on freemiumm and it has not gone the way they'd hoped at all. Just had an absolutely dreadful quarterly report come out. May just be hopeful thinking from my part but it seems as the freemium bubble is bursting a little bit here. Konami might be doubling down on mobile at the wrong time.

    Besides all the obvious Konami greats already mentioned I'm sad they're killing all the old Hudson franchises as well. It's been forever since we had a decent Bomberman game.
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  • Avatar for gillijack #6 gillijack 2 years ago
    There's something horribly wrong when your corporate culture sounds like a charismatic cult in a downward spiral. I have no idea how executive management works in Japan, but the only hope I see for Konami is for investors and customers to demand that new executives take over the company.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #7 jeremy.parish 2 years ago
    @BigPrimeNumbers Perhaps not, but I'm sure we can look forward to Kickstarters for familiar-looking games like Hoprite, Bloodstained, and Ganbare Ishikawa.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #8 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    Man it definitely has to be Metal Gear for me. I knew of Konami when I was young but never got around to playing the Castlevanias until the PS days. This whole thing has saddened me a bit. A sign of the times, getting older all that jazz. I do hope that what we can get out of this, is that they sell those properties to a different companies so we could still get those games. At the same time its stuff like this that gives new life to new studios with great talent and they get to do what they want to do and not have to deal with these conditions.
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  • Avatar for EvilRed #9 EvilRed 2 years ago
    Jeremy, what do you believe this implies for Virtual Console? Should I be worried and start buying all the Konami games I have on my wishlist? Should I even do the same for those Konami (and Hudson!) games I wanted but never bought on the Wii Shop Channel?
    It's not like I'm worried about them starting to delist their games, but, excluding the option of buying the actual carts, perhaps this is the last time we may be able to get these games legally.Edited August 2015 by EvilRed
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #10 jeremy.parish 2 years ago
    @EvilRed It sounds like Konami's management is big into the idea of making money for little investment, so I wouldn't worry about rushing to gobble up VC games. I imagine those will be up for the foreseeable future — the investment has already been made, and now those releases are just soaking up money.
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  • Avatar for Don-Rumata #11 Don-Rumata 2 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Supporting that, Project EGG is getting a lot of Konami's MSX backlog for subscribers to purchase. They're keen on taking whichever licensing deals make the most commercial sense, so I guess D4 Enterprises convinced them a market's available for digital distribution of the classics.
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  • Avatar for docexe #12 docexe 2 years ago
    The report from the Nikkei on the state of Konami was gut-wrenching, but as I was reading the translation I couldn’t stop thinking “how many other publishers and developers in Japan operate in similar ways?”. Given what I had read about the ruthlessness of Japanese corporate culture (I was actually aware already that being shamefully demoted instead of outright fired was not exactly unheard of), I just couldn’t help it but wonder if this kind of things might actually be the norm among developers there. I want to believe that’s not the case, or at least not to the extreme exhibited here, but who knows. In any case, it certainly explains the situation with Kojima and the quiet disappearance of most of their franchises.

    And well, the shift out of videogames from the company certainly fills me with profound sadness for the reasons outlined in the article: They played a very big part in my formative years as a gamer. The NES port for the TMNT Arcade game might actually be my first memory of ever taking a controller in my hands and playing a game. And all the other great franchises that I played along the years (Castlevania, Gradius, Contra, Metal Gear, Silent Hill) plus their excellent licensed games. It’s just sad to see all of them slowly going extinct.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #13 brionfoulke91 2 years ago
    So many great games. I have a particular love for Konami's NES output. There's a lot of really good Famicom Konami games that never made it out here, like Ai Senshi Nicol and Bio Miracle Bokette Upa. Everyone should try to play those!

    Since it hasn't been mentioned much, let me just express some love for Silent Hill 2. That game is a masterpiece (and hint-hint, it came out in 2001 so it better be in your top 10 games since 2000 list!) It's still easily the best horror game ever made, with unmatched Lynch-inspired atmosphere, and really memorable story, and amazing visuals that still put many modern horror games to shame. What a great game. The Silent Hill series in general is legendary for the impact it had on horror games, and it's impact can still be felt on modern horror games like Lone Survivor.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #14 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    Reading about how they treated their employees made angry. I'm not going to lie. I actually considered not buying MGSV, but I know that Kojima and his team have put their souls into that game and as a fan of Metal Gear, I have to honor that. Still, you don't put your developers on guard and janitor duties. That's messed up. They won't get a cent from me after MGSV or maybe I'll get it used.

    Anyways, Konami used to be awesome. I played so many of their games. One of my favorites is Contra. I've played nearly all of them. I had a lot of fun with Alien Wars and Shattered Soldier. It's too bad the series died. There's really no room for that kind of game in today's industry I guess.

    I hope all the developers at KojiPro land on their feet. Godspeed to you guys.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #15 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    The enthralling Suikoden series. Even as it creaked to an inglorious undeath on handhelds recently, the beacon-like lure of Murayama's masterwork guided me to long discussions with fellow Suikophiles about the nuances of the world he and his helpers crafted. I can pivot this thirst for top-notch characterization and world-building to my Thirst for what Falcom has done with Trails, but for the world of the 27 True Runes, Viktor, Silverbergs, Harmonia...alas...


    THANK YOU. That's what turns it from sadness to apoplexy. "You have 5 minutes to be off the property; Smithers, release the hounds."Edited August 2015 by SatelliteOfLove
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #16 Roto13 2 years ago
    One of my favourite Konami games is Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for N64. (Its sequel, Goemon's Great Adventure, was a lot of fun, too.) It's like a bizarre mix of Mario and Zelda (before there actually was a N64 Zelda) and it's just so crazy and fun. At the time I had never played a game with such a silly sense of humour. A story about the evil alien Peach Mountain Shoguns who flew around in a giant peach spaceship and were trying to turn Japan into a giant stage for them to perform on. I think the moment where it really hit me that this game was completely bananas was when Impact showed up.

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  • Avatar for GaijinD #17 GaijinD 2 years ago
    Gotta disagree with Bob. The hardware may not have been up to producing something as colorful and animated as the arcade version, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game was still tons of fun. Plus, it had two extra stages with brand-new bosses. I can't count the number of times my cousins and I ran through that game. We beat it over and over.

    Konami almost never let me down from the Eighties well into the new millennium. It's hard to stomach the idea of the company treating the people responsible for that so disrespectfully.
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  • Avatar for vaterite #18 vaterite 2 years ago
    I still feel so lucky to have gotten Contra 4 for the DS.
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  • Avatar for Xemus80 #19 Xemus80 2 years ago
    That I may never see another Castlevania or Gunbare Goemon (Mystical Ninja) game is a sad, sad thing.
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  • Avatar for detten17 #20 detten17 2 years ago
    Thankfully Bob came through and reminded me that Konami released the TMNT games, Hyperstone Heist, The Manhattan Project, and Turtles in Time, will we ever see them again.Edited August 2015 by detten17
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  • Avatar for redhedgehog #21 redhedgehog 2 years ago
    Minor nit: I'm pretty sure you mean "authoritarian" not "authoritative" in the first paragraph.

    Otherwise, a great, sad look at what happened to a publisher of many classics.
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  • Avatar for mobichan #22 mobichan 2 years ago
    You know, I used to be loyal to companies. But as the information about the actual developers surface, I have learned to give praise to the people, not the business/publishing entities that put the games on the shelves. It was great people (and in the old days, far fewer people) who made these great games. Once you realize those people aren't making the games anymore, it gets easier to let go and avoid the disappointment.
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  • Avatar for misanthrobob #23 misanthrobob 2 years ago
    I guess now's as good a time as any to share this big ol' tribute to Snatcher that I penned last week. RIP.
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  • Avatar for hal9k #24 hal9k 2 years ago
    @misanthrobob Excellent article, thanks for sharing that! I always feel like such a doofus for having owned a Sega CD at the time, but missing out on all the great games like Snatcher. How was I supposed to know? I wasn't the only one, but still...

    Anyway, here's hoping that anyone who's departed from Konami or any of the great employees still stuck there find better positions that appreciate their talents. Less importantly, I also hope some of that legendary IP shakes loose - maybe Konami could farm it out or sell it to developers who can give it the care that it deserves.
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  • Avatar for optimus-rhyme #25 optimus-rhyme 2 years ago
    "Like Ninja Turtles before it, The Simpsons strove for authenticity"

    Yes because Smithers stealing a diamond with his henchmen for 'crime boss' Mr Burns is just like the show.

    Not to mention when famous Simpson's series good guy Sideshow bob helps out the player by throwing them some food for extra energy. He is always so nice in the show.
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  • Avatar for optimus-rhyme #26 optimus-rhyme 2 years ago
    OK everyone do it with me.

    Up, Up, Down, Down, Left , Right, Left, Right, BA, START
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  • Avatar for KaiserWarrior #27 KaiserWarrior 2 years ago
    I've lived through the deaths of Irem and Compile. I watched SNK fizzle down until it ended with a pitiful whimper with Playmore. These hurt, but I could console myself with the idea that they were always niche players, relatively speaking. Small bits of the gaming collective, living and dying on the fringes.

    But then they came for Konami. And I realized that not even once-invincible titans of the industry were immune. That even giants could fall.

    It's incredibly sobering.

    Game Over.Edited 2 times. Last edited August 2015 by KaiserWarrior
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  • Avatar for jihon83 #28 jihon83 2 years ago
    This exit isn't surprising, though I hope it will make other publishers and devolopers seriously rethink the idiocy of striving for "AAA experiences". Outside of games, it sounds like Konami is doing okay, and MGS seems like a guaranteed hit. If circumstances and odds are that good, and a company is still walking away, it may say something for how messed up the industry is. With the Phantom Pain in mind, I wouldn't be surprised if Square Enix follows suit after FF7 "fails" (i.e., doesn't do 20 million plus in sales).
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  • Avatar for seejamsrun #29 seejamsrun 2 years ago
    I'll agree with the common sentiment that if the company was just gone, that would be another matter entirely, but the fact that they are practicing the whole Burnsian style of forcing fantastic creators into janitorial workers tends to make one a lot more bitter about the whole thing.

    On the topic of some waxing nostalgic, Ninja Turtles games on NES loom pretty large in the window of my childhood. Even the objectively not so great first game, which I was only able to beat later as an adult. Goemon was something I loved in the days of the N64, wherein I would rent the side-scrolling one numerous times. And I'd be lying if I didn't mention Castlevania as one of my absolute favorites, snatching up every GBA and DS title and making Dracula Chronicles X my first PSP purchase (with FFT, of course). I still have Bloodlines as my sole Genesis game, despite having sold the console some time ago.

    So yes, the state of the company is...deplorable. The industry is hemorrhaging its former icons, and it's difficult to come to terms with, as unsurprising as things actually are.
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  • Avatar for garnsr #30 garnsr 2 years ago
    As with most of the US Gamer guys, who grew up on 8 bit, Konami means video games, along with Capcom, and Nintendo. It's too bad that Japanese gaming has fallen apart, it's hard to accept that these companies that really defined what video games are to young American fans of a young insustry are apparently done for.
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  • Avatar for InsertTokenz #31 InsertTokenz 2 years ago
    @Roto13 I also gotta go with Goemon as my favorite Konami game, although for me, it's The Legend of the Mystical Ninja for the SNES. That game had great level design that made fun use of all the visual tricks the SNES was capable of at the time, along with just being a fantastic 2 player co-op game (in both the action stages and the mad abundance of mini-games in between). Add to that, the wacky humor and presentation, and it's a game I still revisit every couple of years and have a blast with.

    (Hell, you even got to play a 1 stage mini-game version of Gradius in it!)
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  • Avatar for Vitor-Galv-o #32 Vitor-Galv-o A year ago
    It's too hard to pick favorites, will always love the amazing video game music they made. Suikoden and Castlevania would probably be my favorite series of theirs but it's really hard to como emagrecer com acupuntura not want to mention their others as well. Too many acupuntura bauru great games, so sad to see what has happened to them. I guess one last shout out to the Goemon / Mystical Ninja series, loved the goofy fun in orlistat emagrece quantos quilos the SNES and N64 game. Sega recently heavily shifted it's focus from console games to a primary focus orlistat emagrece on freemiumm and it has not gone the way they'd hoped at all. Just had an absolutely dreadful quarterly report come out. May just be hopeful thinking from my part but it seems as the freemium bubble is bursting a little bit here. Konami might be doubling down on mobile at the wrong time.
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