19 March, 2015

Hideo Kojima to leave Konami after Metal Solid Gear V: The Phantom Pain is Released

"A name means nothing on the battlefield. After a week no one has a name" -Big Boss. 
Someone should have told this to Konami as it seems they plan to part ways with Metal Gear Solid head developer Hideo Kojima - who is practically synonymous with the Metal Gear series - after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, it's hard to think of a single Metal Gear game without the name Kojima so this news has me blown away.

Hideo Kojima has made 'cryptic' tweets over the past few days, leading up to this news. These tweets involved Metal Gear and the messages of 'Heading off', or 'Taking a break'. At the time this didn't seem strange to anyone, based on the types of tweets Kojima usually makes, regarding city skylines, food, movies, and occasionally a picture of something Metal Gear related to remind us all that he's still working on it.
Konami have renamed Kojima Productions Los Angeles, the studio working on Metal Gear Online 3, to Konami Los Angeles Studio. Kojima's name has also been removed from all Konami branded products and he has been removed from the Executive Production role within the company which is what have people questioning his role in the company once Metal Gear Solid V is released.

"Everything has its beginning. But that doesn't start at one. It starts long before that, in chaos. The world is born from Zero" - Big Boss.

The Kojima Productions website now redirects to Konami's Metal Gear site, with listings of the many different Metal Gear products, all of which have had the tag line "A Hideo Kojima game" removed from the promotional art. This includes the soon to be released Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Footage of Kojima and Konami's secret meeting.
What has caused this drama between Kojima Productions and Konami? Could it be the delay to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain which initially had a planned release date of late 2014 however it has now the offical release date is September this year. Or is it more of an internal issue that is not yet brought to light to the public between the Studio Head and Konami.

A source speaking to GameSpot claims that, Kojima and other senior staff have had access to their email, phone lines, and company intranet restricted. As well as only being given limited time and resources to promote The Phantom Pain's release later this year.
"This is Solid Snake... Metal Gear has been destroyed" - Solid Snake.
Konami has since stated, that they are shifting their production structure and that, "Konami Digital Entertainment, including Mr. Kojima, will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.".

With this news it looks like it might be time to say goodbye to Hideo Kojima. Wherever you go, whatever you do after/if you leave, I'll happily support it as long as it's just as wacky, insane, and Japanese as Metal Gear was.

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