Many of those who have had the time to finish the massive Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain have said that the ending feels a bit abrupt. It’s different from its console predecessors, to be certain, with its comparatively massive areas and missions meant for replay. It’s story is an equally big departure – Snake barely talks, and most of the story is told through cassette tapes rather than cut scenes. Fans are starting to find evidence, though, that that ending is abrupt because it wasn’t necessarily supposed to be the ending.

Some fans have discovered while digging through the files of the PC version that there was apparently supposed to be a third chapter to the game and that some prominent characters, such as The Boss, were cut entirely.

Konami’s struggles have been no secret in the last six months or so. Director Hideo Kojima’s name disappeared from the game’s box art, and then from its corporate map. Silent Hills was cancelled as well. The company appears to be making a strong move to change to being a publisher of mobile and embedded games (pachinko and electronic slot machines), even using some of its beloved franchises, like Castlevania and Silent Hill, as sources for those games.  That move toward mobile is suggestive of executives desiring a business with a faster financial turnaround and less risky investment – basically the opposite of giving an artist free reign to make a massive, dedicated single player experience over the course of multiple years.

It seems, then, that Konami had gotten to the point of telling Kojima to just finish his game and release it rather than letting him complete the story. That hasn’t kept critics from giving it almost universally excellent scores and glowing reviews, but it does show how quickly the tides turned against Kojima within the company. It’s possible we could see some parts of this come out as DLC, but it’s highly unlikely due to the nature of the company’s relationship with the director.

It’s sad to see such a great game subjected to the whims of a changing corporate structure. I hope Kojima can find a place that will better respect his talents (and reign in his crazy narrative ambitions).