Has the Count Taken a Stake to the Heart?
It’s been more than a couple years since the last official video game incarnation of Castlevania. The last time we saw the Count was 2014 in the second installment of the Lords of Shadow reboot. Since then, Konami’s focus, leadership, and reputation has changed significantly and not all for the better from a gamer’s point of view. Konami has indicated it has changed direction away from video game development and has backed it up with a seemingly endless stream of Pachinko machines based on their most beloved video game franchises, enraging gamers. So does this mean that we have seen the last of Count Dracula and the Belmont clan in digital form?
Sure, there is a spiritual successor to the 2D Castlevania adventures coming. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has been baking for quite some time. But do we have to rely on third party look-alikes for our vampire-whipping fix? These days the term Metroidvania is thrown around with reckless abandon especially in the indie game scene. But will we ever see a new official entry in the grand-daddy to them all? Even a classic action-platformer entry in the series could be an option.
If we’re being honest, the answer to these questions is looking very discouraging. As an example, the first Metal Gear video game to be released after Konami purged Hideo Kojima from the company, Metal Gear Survive, has landed with a thud in the gaming market. Reviewers have called it “disappointing” and “confusing”. No one wants Castlevania to fall to the same fate. Plus, with the less than stellar reception of Metal Gear Survive, Konami may get cold feet again in regards to game development.
Is there any hope? Yes, a little. The recent Castlevania animation episodes on Netflix were a smash hit, bringing Dracula back into the spotlight. It might be encouraging for Konami to know that the Castlevania franchise is still beloved and profitable. Maybe Konami is planning a new game behind the scenes. Only time can tell.
It has been a lean couple of years for the Castlevania franchise. Many things have changed at Konami, but there may still be hope for the vampire in the future. Let’s hope for a spectacular return for one of gaming’s royal franchises.
What are your thoughts? Comment below!