It’s hard to imagine how Konami could’ve handled the departure of its long-time auteur, Hideo Kojima, any worse.
The removal (and later return) of his name to game art was subtle, but noticed almost immediately. Dancing around questions about his continued employment didn’t go well, either. Now, one of the voice actors from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain has spoken out on Twitter, adding fire to the flame.
Donna Burke, the voice of Snake’s iDroid digital assistant, took to Twitter yesterday, linking to an article about pleas from Snake’s Japanese voice actor that gamers not cancel their Metal Gear Solid V pre-orders. She followed up with the following:
Yes don't throw away the Kojima teams work over the last 5 years because upper management fired a genius
— Donna Burke (@db_singer_actor) April 9, 2015
This is the first time that anyone officially connected to the game has explicitly said anything about Kojima’s status with the company.
Burke seems to have great love for the project and Kojima himself, though, saying in later tweets that the “the game is being tested now and some bits finished off to make it awesomer.” She added that she misses the director’s frequent food tweets. Burke said also that she hopes a publication on the level of Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair will “do a story on the whole thing once the dust settles.”
Sadly, I don’t think either of those publications are too interested in the goings on at Konami.
When contacted by Videogamer.com for verification, a Konami representative said that Burke’s claims are “categorically incorrect.” So, Kojima hasn’t been fired. Was it just strongly suggested that he leave? Did he quit in a huff? Did he finally decide to follow his dream of collecting designer glasses?
Konami is trying desperately to do damage control on this whole fiasco, but each movement it makes seems to make them look worse. It’s likely we won’t find out exactly what happened until after the game is released, if ever, but for now they’re clearly not interested in talking.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is currently set to release Sept, 1, 2015 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, with the PC version coming Sept. 15.