Konami is starting to anonymize output by their BEMANI sound team

Oct 26, 2017
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#1
There have been rumors that Konami is having a feud with their internal composer team for the BEMANI series (Beatmania, DDR, etc.). As a result, artwork that would normally feature the name of the artist who composed the song is not featuring the artist name, and new songs are starting to be credited to "BEMANI Sound Team".





Here's some background that might explain things: To help promote their internal artists, a record label called Beatnation Records was established about a decade ago. This proved to be quite popular, leading to multiple live concerts, dozens of soundtrack CDs, and more. There was even a special commemorative song titled "Crew" that was remixed by almost every major Beatnation artist in the most recent Beatmania version.

My theory is that Konami is afraid of the power of Beatnation Records and wishes to control their internal artists. It's unknown what the full extent of this development will be, but the latest Beatmania version is scheduled to release in December. I can't wait to play all of the new songs by "BEMANI Sound Team" ._.
 
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Deft Beck
Oct 26, 2017
813
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#6
Japanese Twitter is not very happy about the news.



There've been a lot of memes that Photoshop over the eyes of the composers with the BEMANI logo or otherwise airbrushing out artists from artwork where they appear.
 
Oct 28, 2017
11,998
#8
The last time Konami had an internal feud with someone, it didn't turn out so well :( Not sure why a feud with the composer would lead to a change for all artists though.

Arcade bemani is all Konami has left as far as I'm concerned. At least if that ends up dying I can stop defending them online. Though I don't see that happening soon since arcades would probably vanish if bemani went away.

Hopefully this doesn't lead to more Touhou remixes shitting up song lists.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#9
You'd think Konami would get the hint that they're pissing everyone off; i guess that as long as they still got that Vegas/Macau gambling and spa money, that they don't really give a shit.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,993
Georgia
#10
Konami, the noted abusive publisher to work under, apparently has another abusive relationship with a part of it's development studios!

I'm shocked!
I'm not shocked anymore

Stop buying their products man.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,513
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#12
So I'm going to have to guess which songs are made by the GOAT, dj TAKA (if they're even still working at Konami, haven't played a Bemani game in years).
 
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Deft Beck
Oct 26, 2017
813
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#13
The last time Konami had an internal feud with someone, it didn't turn out so well :( Not sure why a feud with the composer would lead to a change for all artists though.

Arcade bemani is all Konami has left as far as I'm concerned. At least if that ends up dying I can stop defending them online. Though I don't see that happening soon since arcades would probably vanish if bemani went away.

Hopefully this doesn't lead to more Touhou remixes shitting up song lists.
You mean the Naoki situation, right?

For those who don't know, Naoki Maeda (of DDR and Konami E3 2010 fame), had a famous falling out with his long time employer in 2012 or so. He had an idea for a touch screen game that Konami upper management insulted and said would never sell. So, he told them off at the first Konami arcade championship and left the company shortly after. The game he pitched later came out through Capcom under the name Cross Beats, which is now on its second iteration, Cross Beats Sunrise. It's also notable that Cross Beats frequently features artists that haven't been in BEMANI games for a while.

Anyway, funny you mention Touhou remixes, since the last time IIDX featured Touhou songs, they had BEMANI artists do covers of them.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,694
#14
Konami, the noted abusive publisher to work under, apparently has another abusive relationship with a part of it's development studios!

I'm shocked!
I'm not shocked anymore

Stop buying their products man.
Fortunately it’s not as if they make many products you can buy anymore.
 
Oct 28, 2017
11,998
#16
Anyway, funny you mention Touhou remixes, since the last time IIDX featured Touhou songs, they had BEMANI artists do covers of them.
I don't know about IIDX but if I have to see Cirno's face while scrolling through SDVX lists one more time I'll sue ZUN.
 
Oct 27, 2017
852
#19
Konami, the noted abusive publisher to work under, apparently has another abusive relationship with a part of it's development studios!

I'm shocked!
I'm not shocked anymore

Stop buying their products man.
Yeah, stop buying their products so the whole team can lose their jobs. I'm sure they'll be much happier with that.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,472
#20
I'm going to be real cross if this is the reason there hasn't been a new Nekomata Master album in a while. It's been almost three years since follow slowly, which is longer than his usual pace of releases.
 
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Deft Beck
Oct 26, 2017
813
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#22
Yeah, stop buying their products so the whole team can lose their jobs. I'm sure they'll be much happier with that.
What's funny is that you can't do that for several of the soundtrack CDs! They were distributed through giveaways: You had to play Beatmania IIDX thirty times within a certain span of time in order to receive the Crew EP with all of the remixes, for example.

What would happen, though, is that people would load up on the Konami proprietary currency (PASELI) and fail song after song in order to grind for the CDs. This is also how people get through the special unlock events.

But that's straying a bit from the topic.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#23
Yeah, stop buying their products so the whole team can lose their jobs. I'm sure they'll be much happier with that.
So basically, turn a blind eye to their practices no matter what they do? That's no better. If you don't believe in a business in any industry, you shouldn't justify purchasing their products just to protect jobs. That sounds like a CEO's dream scenario since he can guilt trip you into buying whatever.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#25
If I were to guess, I'd say Konami is most likely afraid of headhunters and losing its popular artists to rival companies. But if they just go ahead and obscure who composed which track, then the headhunters won't know who to target. Bonus is that artists trying to leave the company won't be able to prove they actually composed the tracks they claim, either, so it hurts their job hunting capability, as well.
 
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Deft Beck
Oct 26, 2017
813
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#26
If I were to guess, I'd say Konami is most likely afraid of headhunters and losing its popular artists to rival companies. But if they just go ahead and obscure who composed which track, then the headhunters won't know who to target. Bonus is that artists trying to leave the company won't be able to prove they actually composed the tracks they claim, either, so it hurts their job hunting capability, as well.
But the artists have such a distinctive sonic signature that it'd be easy to figure it out.

I was looking at the song production notes for the Crew song I keep mentioning: I'll paste them here (source: Remywiki)

Ten years ago, beatnation Records was born from the idea that of making a label, a new thing in BEMANI.

The origin of the label name was taken from a label in beatmania IIDX: the beatmania IIDX 3rd style side POP (the POP above the speaker) catchphrase was "CYBER-beat-NATION".

We have been pursuing entertainment with the motto of bringing fun not only with music, but also with press conferences, talk shows, quiz shows, spoof movies, etc....

The seven artists who were gathered have spectacular talents, each with a different talent, and each has enough strength to not lose to the other six people.

It was worth the effort to keep steadily working, as rookie DJs who caught our attention have appeared, and the number of younger people who started composing music with the goal of entering beatnation Records has increased.

beatnation RHYZE was created because of this.

Furthermore, SOUND VOLTEX FLOOR launched by DJ YOSHITAKA was opened to reach more creators, and even more new talent is discovered.

These new talented creators themselves also requested to start activities in places other than music games, and overseas famous DJs also professed the influence from beatnation, so when we noticed, in the broad electronic dance music scene, we became to have influential power to say that we are a big force in our country.

All thanks to talented creators who started and moved beatnation Records.

Ten years endowed with a lot of talent.

"crew" means "friends", but also means "a member of a ship", so the song title was given with the idea that we are members who joined the same beatnation ship and continued traveling a long voyage together.

By the way, it is OK to board, so will you be part of the crew of this ship?
Focus on the bolded part. I think that's the key here.
 
Oct 28, 2017
11,998
#27
If I were to guess, I'd say Konami is most likely afraid of headhunters and losing its popular artists to rival companies. But if they just go ahead and obscure who composed which track, then the headhunters won't know who to target. Bonus is that artists trying to leave the company won't be able to prove they actually composed the tracks they claim, either, so it hurts their job hunting capability, as well.
Maybe someone at Sega Interactive keeps poaching for Chunithm, tsk tsk.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,854
#29
It already sucks that there hasn't been any console versions of the Bemani games for YEARS (which was the only way I could play them), but now hearing this sucks even more since part of the fun was discovering the music made by the artists, especially when the music possibly would get a long version or appear on said artist's CD.

Hell, speaking of CDs, how are they even going to do CDs that focus on a particular artist like Ryu* or SOTA?
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#32


This is nothing new for Konami. A lot of video game companies would rather their artists stay anonymous to keep the attention on the IP versus the actual developers. It's pretty awful.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#33
But the artists have such a distinctive sonic signature that it'd be easy to figure it out.

I was looking at the song production notes for the Crew song I keep mentioning: I'll paste them here (source: Remywiki)
That's true, but it does protect them from revealing the talents of new artists. It also would be harder to prove which artist composes which song, even if it's easy enough to guess.

And don't forget that Konami is not the most level-headed or cutting edge when it comes to things like this. I don't know if you've ever tried to email a Konami employee before, but their email addresses (if they are approved to have one) are impossible to guess, as they are random numbers that change every year. It's this way because they are afraid of headhunters. But, at the same time, they did not take into account things like social media or other avenues of contact like that.
 
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Deft Beck
Oct 26, 2017
813
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#34
It already sucks that there hasn't been any console versions of the Bemani games for YEARS (which was the only way I could play them), but now hearing this sucks even more since part of the fun was discovering the music made by the artists, especially when the music possibly would get a long version or appear on said artist's CD.

Hell, speaking of CDs, how are they even going to do CDs that focus on a particular artist like Ryu* or SOTA?
Ryu* is a commission artist.

As for Sota Fujimori...I really want another SYNTHESIZED CD...I hope for the best.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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#35
Wait, Bemani games still exist and are still being updated now?

Godamnit Japan, stop making stuff only for your arcades, you selfish jerks.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#36
Is it actually a feud? The reason I ask is back in the day a lot of Japanese companies wouldn't credit their talent by their actual name because of fear of them being headhunted by rival companies. That's why so many old Japanese video games have given names only in the credits or aliases. Does Konami still practice that today, and could they be worried about losing their talent? It'd be real shitty if that's the case, it was a bullshit practice in 1987, it's a bullshit practice in 2017.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,204
#37
Is it actually a feud? The reason I ask is back in the day a lot of Japanese companies wouldn't credit their talent by their actual name because of fear of them being headhunted by rival companies. That's why so many old Japanese video games have given names only in the credits or aliases. Does Konami still practice that today, and could they be worried about losing their talent? It'd be real shitty if that's the case, it was a bullshit practice in 1987, it's a bullshit practice in 2017.
Just this year they implemented a policy where former employees are not allowed to disclose that they used to work for Konami. They are very much still doing this type of thing.
 
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Deft Beck
Oct 26, 2017
813
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#38
Is it actually a feud? The reason I ask is back in the day a lot of Japanese companies wouldn't credit their talent by their actual name because of fear of them being headhunted by rival companies. That's why so many old Japanese video games have given names only in the credits or aliases. Does Konami still practice that today, and could they be worried about losing their talent? It'd be real shitty if that's the case, it was a bullshit practice in 1987, it's a bullshit practice in 2017.
There's only speculation right now, with some very vague hints at the drama from some of the commission artists close to BEMANI artists.

That's true, but it does protect them from revealing the talents of new artists. It also would be harder to prove which artist composes which song, even if it's easy enough to guess.
Sure, but it rings hollow when you consider that they previously liked to have their artists do collaboration songs with one another. What are they going to do, BEMANI Sound Team vs. BEMANI Sound Team?
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#44
I just watched Stop Skeletons From Fighting's vid on Silent Hill 2, and they did a similar thing to Takayoshi Sato's art group after stiffing them on a contract payment.
 

Jer

Member
Oct 27, 2017
602
#48
Yeah as a long time Bemani fan, that's really not cool.

It's so sad to see Konami be so awful, they're easily my all time favorite developer in terms of their history.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#49
Konami is still assholes? HURRY EVERY NEWS OUTLET LET'S GET THEM ON HEADLINES AGAIN!

Seriously though, agaaaainnn!? Man, this company is batshit evil. I hope everyone who is stuck at Konami can finally leave and find better employment elsewhere.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,660
Brazil
#50
Seriously, arcade bemani is all Konami has left (From what I've seen that was popular in the arcades while I was in Japan). Why in the hell would they go and...
...never mind, this is Konami we are talking about right?



Oh boy.... You thought wrong my friend....
Not really. Their output in mobile (and digital Entertainment where it's part of) is far bigger and most successful than their Pachinko and Arcade from what I saw in their last financial report.