A new rumor has sprung up from multiple inside sources from Konami and Kojima Productions. Hideo Kojima, the maker of Metal Gear and the famous personality behind the series, is apparently on his way out.
The most exhaustive reporting comes from Gamespot on this one. They have a source who says that the key developers at Kojima Productions, including Hideo Kojima himself, have been reclassified as contract workers. Once their jobs are complete with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, they will part ways with Konami.
The source explained that, “after we finish MGSV, Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami.” Their contracts expire in December, according to the source.
What pushes this rumor even further is the news that Konami is removing Kojima’s name from the art for the game. This is how it normally looks.
See that? “A Hideo Kojima Game.” That’s being removed from official assets.
Here’s the box art as it appears now on Konami’s official site.
It could be a coincidence, yes. However, Kojima is part of the Metal Gear brand. His name appears with the titles much like Sid Meier and his games. These two bits of news lining up pushes us to believe this is more than just a rumor.
Konami did issue a statement on this to Gamespot. Here it is in full:
“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 Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima), will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.”
With all of that in mind, we keep seeing a particular date for future announcements regarding Kojima’s positioning. That date is April 1st. That could mean absolutely nothing. It is the start of a new business quarter, so major corporate happenings always occur on that date. Then again, this is Kojima, and we’d buy any practical joke on his behalf.
For now? The rumors point towards Kojima’s departure from Konami. What this means for future projects like Silent Hills remains to be seen. We’ll have more on this as it comes.