Hideo Kojima’s Nasty Breakup With Konami

What This All Means For Metal Gear, Silent Hills and Kojima Productions

In a sad turn of events, Konami has released a statement stating that Hideo Kojima, acclaimed director of the Metal Gear series, will be leaving his responsibilities as Director of the series he created in 1987.  This comes after several days of tension, as rumors flew around of tension inside the offices of Kojima Productions.  Everyone within the industry is wondering what has happened, even if the picture is clearer than most corporate implosions.

Starting out in the company, Kojima made several games that were innovative but financially unsuccessful, such as Policenauts and Snatcher.  It wasn’t until 1998 when Metal Gear Solid, the third game in the series hit shelves that Kojima threw him and Konami in the spotlight as synonymous rock stars.  It wasn’t long after that Kojima started to move up in the company, all the way to vice president in 2011.

Kojima constantly stated his desire to move onto new projects, saying every Metal Gear Solid game was going to be his last entry.  This has happened four times now, with Phantom Pain being no exception; only this time it may sadly be the truth.

konami-g2e-2011.0.0Konami announced today, on their official website, that they are, “already resolved to develop a new ‘METAL GEAR’ title.  We will be conducting auditions for main staff to lead the development.”  This comes after stating that, “Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout (the final production of MGSV).”  In what capacity, it did not say.

Kojima has also posted a picture on his twitter page, of Solid Snake standing in front of a hovering helicopter, with the small explanation of ‘Heading off…”

There are rampant rumors of a power struggle within their offices, with reports that Hideo Kojima has cut all phone lines and blocked all corporate e-mails from Konami inside of his studio.  There have been massive rebrandings on all of Konami’s marketing material, taking Kojima’s name off of all the signage and banners.  Konami has told one interviewer that, “”As we have already announced, we are shifting our production structure to a headquarters-controlled system, in order to establish a steadfast operating base capable of responding to the rapid market changes that surround our digital entertainment business.”

Konami also recently renamed Kojima Productions Los Angeles to Konami Productions Los Angeles and refuses to speak with anyone about these changes.

It would seem Konami is no longer interested in having Kojima Productions as a part of their company, and this leaves many questions when it comes to the future.  Hideo Kojima was retroactively given the previous games in the series, so who holds the rights to future games?

This was going to be a big release for both companies, considering it features Kojima’s new Fox Engine.  Many fans got a taste of it in last year’s MGS:Ground Zeroes and P. T.  Fans are vocal and ready to see what this new engine has to offer in terms of dealing with Metal Gear’s first entry into sandbox gameplay.

It’s hard to imagine Konami letting go of Kojima, especially with it’s highly anticipated Silent Hills entry garnering so much hype, but perhaps this is just another ruse by Kojima.  Stir up controversy, leave us questioning what’s going on behind the scenes.  It’s also possible that Konami is telling us everything, and Kojima really is going to be stepping away from Metal Gear this time, and that he’ll be focusing on SH instead.  Any second now, Psycho Mantis will appear and we’ll realize it’s all been a huge misunderstanding.

We can all hope, right?

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