Update: Inside sources from Kojima Productions have confirmed to Gamespot that key developers from the studio, including Hideo Kojima, will be parting ways with Konami at the remainder of the year. The intensity of the squabble between the studio and its publisher has gotten so hostile, that it has resulted in senior staff of the studio being restricted access to corporate internet, phones, and emails.
The fall-out between the two parties involved has led to Konami altering the employment status of key members of the Metal Gear team. Senior staff members, of which Kojima is included, have been reduced to working as contractors, as opposed to permanent employees. As explained by Gamespot’s source, once the team has finished Phantom Pain, the management at the studio may very well disband.
Geez, Konami: you couldn’t even give the Metal Gear guys health benefits?
Uh oh! It looks like something’s amiss between Hideo Kojima and the folks at Konami. Rumors began to surface this morning of Hideo Kojima possibly resigning from the game publishing company. The talks were triggered by Konami Digital’s latest executive appointment form, which completely omitted Kojima as the Executive Content Officer–a position he had held before. Either this is extremely weird, or someone’s setting up a very well-calculated April Fool’s joke.
But that’s just the tip of the oddly-shaped Kojima/Konami iceberg: it also appears as if Kojima Productions is being ousted as a studio altogether. For starters, the KojiPro twitter account has actively been asking its followers to switch over to a new Metal Gear Solid V twitter account:
— Kojima Pro Live (@Kojima_Pro_Live) March 19, 2015
Have you tried visiting Kojima Productions’ website lately? If you do now, you’ll oddly be redirected to a Metal Gear Solid V portal instead of the actual website, and links to Kojima’s twitter account seem to have disappeared. Additionally, the Kojima Productions LA website now redirects to the main Konami website, and the jobs listed on the KojiPro LA website seem to have migrated over to Konami Los Angeles Studio– which appears to be the the new name for Kojima’s LA branch.
To add to the today’s mystery, the Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain splash page has removed the phrase “A Hideo Kojima Game,” as if to suggest that the association with Kojima is unwarranted. Here’s a look at the game’s splash page before:
Man, this is all sounding more convoluted than Metal Gear Solid‘s entire plot right now. Yes, Hideo Kojima has previously gone on record saying that Phantom Pain would “finally close the loop” to the Metal Gear saga. He’s made comments somewhere in the realm of “even if the Metal Gear franchise continues without me, to me, this is the last one.” Perhaps these comments are alluding to Kojima moving on in the new fiscal year, but with future projects like Silent Hills still very fresh in the back of everyone’s minds, you have to wonder whether or not today’s happening are being blown out of proportion.
“Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima), will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements,” stated Konami when speaking to Videogamer on this morning’s developments. More on the story as details are divulged.
Are you nervous about a possible Hideo Kojima resignation from Konami? Do you think Konami would be able to thrive without the Kojima prestige within its ranks? Sneak your thoughts into the comments section below.