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Monday, May 15, 2006
Konami Eyes "Metal Gear Solid" The Movie


Japanese video game maker Konami said on Friday it is looking into the possibility of striking a motion picture deal based on its blockbuster fighting game series "Metal Gear Solid."

The comment comes after "Silent Hill," a horror film based on another Konami video game series, replaced comedy spoof "Scary Movie 4" as the top choice for North American moviegoers in late April.

"We are considering it," Kazumi Kitaue, the head of Konami's North American and European operations, said in an interview with Reuters at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

Along with its "Dance Dance Revolution" and "Pro Evolution Soccer," "Metal Gear Solid" is among Konami's best-selling video game titles.

Kitaue declined to go into details but said the company has no intention of carrying out an actual movie production.

"Silent Hill" was released by TriStar Pictures, a Sony Corp. unit specializing in low-budget films. It paid $14 million for the right to distribute the film in North and South America.

"We are a game specialist and not a movie specialist. Any movie will be best handled by a film company," Kitaue said.

Kitaue said he expects its soccer games to post double-digit sales growth for the year ending in March 2007, with demand boosted by the World Cup soccer finals in Germany this summer.

"I would say 10 percent growth or more. We might see some 20 percent or 30 percent growth under some lucky circumstances," he said. "If the Japanese team does well, that would really affect our sales in Japan. Also, Britain, Germany and France are big markets for us. If these countries are not eliminated until later stages, that would be a plus."

In contrast, South American soccer teams beating European or Japanese teams would be an unwelcome scenario for Konami since video game consoles have yet to be widely used in Latin American countries, thus providing little boost to game software demand, Kitaue said.


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