Konami is the fourth largest manufacturer of video games in Japan. When the arcade industry was not doing well Konami decided to go in for slot machines. Right from 1978 Konami has tied up with varies American gaming companies so they knew what the Americans wanted. They had both the expertise and the money needed to make it work. So in the past few years Konami has found its way into casinos across America. It is also a manufacturer of trading cards, arcade video games and arcade cabinets. Additionally, it operates health and physical fitness clubs in Japan.
Konami was founded by Kagamasa Kosuki in 1969 and was originally a jukebox rental. Konami is a conjunction of the names of the founders of Konami Industry Co., Ltd - Kagemasa Kouzuki (who is the chairman of the board and CEO at present), Yoshinobu Nakama and Tatuso Miyasako who were made as partners by Kozuki.
The name Konami means 'little waves'. In 1973 Mr. Kosuki and his staff started designing their own arcade games. In 1981 Konami released Scramble and Super Cobra which were more successful in Japan than America. In 1982 the company started to market computer software. It also got into the field of home game consoles.
Konami has produced a number of popular slot machines. In 2005 it moved its headquarters to Las Vegas. Its first slot machine was based on the 'Rocky' movies called Rocky slots. As they played on it the players could see and hear Sylvester Stallone.
Some of the penny slots that they have are Money in the Bank, African Treasure, A Big Payoff, Ioha Gold, Cash Inferno, Coinopolis, Billionaires, Dance Dance Revolution, Karaoke Revolution, Pro Evolution Soccer, Atlantic Treasure, Solstice Gold, and Lucky Dice.
Money in the Bank is a multi-denomination capable game where you can bet up to 1500 credits and also comes with a re-spin feature. African Treasure is a multi-line stepper game that supports jackpot and progressive modes. One of the progressive games available is Pirates Loot which is a feature game which is triggered randomly. There are twelve ships out of which one reveals the Ring, Goblet or Jewel. The player has a chance to win when he/she hits 3 of the same symbol.
An interesting fact about the Konami games is the Konami code. It is a cheat code which appears in many of its games. It was first used in 'Gradius' of the Nintendo Entertainment System and later in 'Contra'. All that the user had to do was to press a particular sequence of buttons on the game controller when the game was paused. The code was later used in a number of other games. The code was created by Kazuhisa Hashimoto who found the game 'Gradius' too hard to play during testing.
Konami has started to license popular games to be made into Hollywood movies over the past few years. Silent Hill was the first to hit the theaters. Others in production are Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania.
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