Konami plots ambitious European expansion as it opens Windsor office

Konami says its new European office in Windsor will help it prepare for changes in the games market

The Metal Gear Solid publisher has moved its HQ from Germany to the UK, with the new office officially opening on April 1st. It is a 7,000 ft location, based near publisher rivals 2K and platform holder Nintendo.

The UK office has also moved to the same location, with the team now overseeing South Africa, Nordic and Australia, as well as the UK. Former UK boss Pete Stone is now branch manager for Northern Europe. The firm’s PES, Castlevania and European digital team will also move into the new offices.

Konami is also restructuring its regional responsibilities for France, Spain and Germany. The firm will retain an office in Frankfurt, which will also look after Central Europe and Turkey.

"The way we work is changing on a constant basis, and our relationship with users must grow closer," Konami’s Digital Entertainment GmbH President Shinji Hirano told MCV.

"This is hugely important, and we need to understand their needs, and react to them to provide the service they require. With Europe being multi-cultural, we feel the UK is the best country to host a team that can cater for the demands.

"Windsor makes sense for a number of reasons. It’s a fantastic town, with good links to Heathrow and London. In terms of available space, it also has the scale of building that is suitable for our very ambitious expansion plans. There is also a very good infrastructure in place, that perfectly complements our plans looking forward. The Thames Valley area has an enviable array of IT, mobile, security, data processing and educational links, which provide a strong level of resources and partnerships.

"We envisage the UK base being the permanent location moving forward and are preparing for a very exciting future."

Konami hopes its new European base can help it cope with the changes impacting the games sector. And the firm is on a huge recruitment drive for the office, with many more hires expected over the coming weeks.

"We have very ambitious plans," said Hirano.

"We are committed to preparing for evolutions in real interactive entertainment, and we will focus on understanding users and making our products and services bespoke t these needs. We want to build a stronger understanding of the needs and aspirations of each country, as Europe is unique in that each is very different from each other. The key to the new office is meeting these challenges."

The opening of the new Konami base was celebrated by a special event held at Windsor Castle, attendee by Konami’s founder Kagemasa Kozuki and the minister of Culture, Media and Sport Ed Vaizey.

A full reveal of the new Konami offices and the firm’s plans for Europe will be discussed in an upcoming issue of MCV.

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