Hideo Kojima

Kojima Productions has just opened its first American studio in the city of Los Angeles. The new studio, still under the larger wing of Konami, will be dedicated to creating many new franchises and working on existing games, including founder Hideo Kojima's most popular series, Metal Gear Solid.

Kojima himself announced the new studio as an important step in the history of his brand name, believing that video gaming must expand globally as it becomes our greatest storytelling medium.

"As gaming takes the world stage as one of the greatest forms of entertainment, it's only natural for us to expand our operations across the globe. And since Los Angeles is ground zero for the best studios, facilities and world-class talent, we are leaning on of these local resources to build an incredible team to create gaming experiences that are just as compelling as any film or television show."

The move to America comes at a time when many Japanese studios are looking overseas for Western talent to fill in the gaps of its own production. Kojima will lend a leadership role to both his Tokyo based studio as well as his new Los Angeles studio.

Konami President Tomoyuki Tsuboi reflected similar sentiments in his own statement.

"The Los Angeles studio emphasizes Konami and Kojima Productions commitment to expanding our development footprint. The new studio will put Kojima Productions in the heart of the west which will benefit future releases as it will introduce new talent and creativity to the development teams."

Konami has found itself at a crossroads recently. Many of its classic series have slowly disappeared over the years, and only mainstays like Castlevania and Metal Gear Solid, maybe Silent Hill, remain relevant on the console stage. However, other businesses of Konami, including digital distribution of its older games, have kept the company afloat.

The Konami who used to produce Ganbare Goemon, Suikoden, and Gradius hasn't been seen for quite some time, so it will be interesting to see what direction the company heads towards in the new generation and how its best development team will lead the charge on an international scale.