The success of Konami's Ninja Turtles games on the NES squashed chances of more Castlevania games on the platform
There were three Castlevania games on the NES, and each one of them has garnered a notable spot in gaming history. Today we learn that there could have been more Castlevania games on the NES, but those damn Ninja Turtles came along and ruined those chances.
A former Konami dev who worked alongside Hitoshi Akamatsu, the creator/director of Castlevania, shared some insight into the NES scene back in the day. During those days, Konami managed to snatch up the Ninja Turtles license, and it paved the way for some major successes. On the flip-side, Turtles games became the most important thing to Konami, and it squeezed out support for other franchises.
Akumajo Densetsu represents the zenith of quality in both music and gameplay for the Famicom. I asked Akamatsu about why it was so good, and he said it was all done in an attempt to outdo the Ninja Turtles games. During the Famicom era at Konami, the overseas sales for Turtles was Konami’s highest seller, and because of that, the Turtles development team was prioritized above everything else. The Castlevania team (and others like it which didn’t make a lot of money) had to survive on the scraps. There was a possibility for further Castlevania sequels on the Famicom, but it got pushed out by the popularity of Ninja Turtles.