According to French gaming site Gameblog, verified by Eurogamer, Konami is ceasing all AAA console development with the sole exception of its annual Pro Evolution Soccer series.
Konami had currently indicated that they were working on a new Metal Gear title, but the developer has a blank schedule for AAA titles, say both aforementioned sites.
This news comes on the heels of the departure of Konami’s worldwide technology director, Julien Merceron, who helped develop the Fox Engine that runs Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain across all five platforms, as well as powering Pro Evolution Soccer.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise for anyone following developments within Konami in recent months. Rumors of trouble brewing between auteur director Hideo Kojima and management were followed directly by the cancellation of Silent Hills, Kojima’s enthusiastically received revival of the troubled horror series in which he partnered with film director Guillermo del Toro.
That news was followed by a report from Japanese newspaper Nikkei that described an Orwellian work environment where lunch breaks were monitored and workers were publicly shamed for taking too many breaks, employees were given menial tasks as punishment for poor performance, and email addresses were changed at random to prevent media contact.
As for Konami, they will likely continue development of their mobile and pachinko businesses as well a profiting off their variety of other businesses, including real estate development, gyms, and entertainment facilities. It’s a disappointing path for a company that gave us so many great games across console generations, but Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a heck of a swan song.