Metal Gear?! Kojima And Konami Dance Around Rumours

You know those rumours going around that Metal Gear mastermind Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami have fallen out, and he’ll be leaving the company after Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, throwing the series into turmoil just as it starts settling down on PC? Well!

Following statements to press saying everything was hunky-dory, Konami and Kojima have issued a public statement which carefully avoids confirming or denying the juicy bits of the rumours. It mostly says what we know: Kojima will finish MGS V, then Konami will keep on making Metal Gear games with or without him.

Hideo Kojima “will remain involved throughout” development of The Phantom Pain, Konami said.

The man himself added, “I want to reassure fans that I am 100% involved and will continue working on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain; I’m determined to make it the greatest game I’ve directed to date.”

Konami, meanwhile, saying they “will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the Metal Gear series following ‘MGSV: TPP'” and that they have “already resolved to develop new ‘Metal Gear’.” Which, sure, we’d already guessed. Kojima has said for yonks that The Phantom would be his last Metal Gear game, and it seemed unlikely that Konami would let the series end.

They don’t say anything about rumours that Hideo’s studio Kojima Productions and Konami, which owns it, have fallen out. They don’t say anything about him, and some other Kojima top folks, leaving after The Phantom Pain. Or rumours that their corporate communications have been restricted. They don’t address Konami’s documented, visible attempts to ease away from the Kojima Productions name.

The statement’s the kind of careful dancing around the truth that a Metal Gear Solid villain or friendly double agent would do to taunt the Snakes, and players would only realise the hidden meaning of their words – and what they don’t say – later.

I don’t know if I’d fancy a Metal Gear Solid without Kojima, as the last few times he tried to leave the series he came back to save it, but I’d certainly still be up for more Metal Gear Rising. It’s a shame that Metal Gear Solid will likely forever be incomplete on PC, as it’s a series I’ve grown awfully fond of from a distance. I’d be surprised if the missing games are ever ported.

In the meantime, those cheeky Arcane Kids have put together a tribute to Metal Gear Solid.

54 Comments

  1. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    you can tell RPS is new to the metal gear franchise. This has happened at least twice before :)

    • welverin says:

      Kojima has gone on about wanting to move on before, I think this is the end for him for real this time.

      Today’s news gives me the distinct impression that Konami may have tried to force him to continue making MG games and he said no.

      • Yazu13 says:

        I think you’re right about that. Konami really has nothing else spectacular besides Metal Gear Solid nowadays, and I’d imagine Kojima is tired of making entries in the same series for as long as he has, even if his series has remained incredible throughout. This is likely why he has a part in Silent Hills; because he wants to break away from his stealth genre.

        Konami see him as money though, and they haven’t a clue how to make anything worthwhile anymore, so it’s kind of like they have this one guy in their company with a successful vision and if they lose him, they know they’ll go tits up. If you go to their website and check out their “Games” tab, it says:

        1. Metal Gear Solid
        2. All Games

        And trust me, that “All Games” section is none too impressive. Konami is scared of losing their golden goose.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Kojima must be a pathological liar

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Perhaps he is.

        I’m struggling to think of a single time he’s stated we’d get something in one of his games and then not delivered, though. Who knows.

  2. welverin says:

    Alice, if you’re really interested in the Metal Gear games you may just want to break down and pick up a PS3 at some point. All of the game except for Portable Ops are playable on it in some fashion or another.

    • Unclepauly says:

      The original Metal Gear too? The 16-bit one?

      • Unruly says:

        Both it and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake(the previously Japan-only true sequel) are included in the ps3 HD re-release of MGS3, since it’s based on the Subsistence edition of the game.

  3. ThomasHL says:

    That statement sounds like Kojima is leaving. If he were staying they would have announced that he’d continue to work on new titles surely.

    I’m not interested in a non-Kojima MGS game. Metal Gear Rising was good _Platinum_ game, but that’s exactly what it was. If they make Bayonetta 3 or Metal Gear Rising 2 it doesn’t actually make a difference, we’ll be getting a great game from Platinum.

    Playing a Metal Gear Solid game made by Kojima is about playing a masterpiece created by a madman. I will continue to play those games instead of whatever game Konami sticks a ‘Metal Gear’ label on once Kojima leaves.

  4. Banks says:

    This whole situation is so dumb and makes everyone involved look so stupid that It could actually be a script from a Metal Gear game.

    Just a touch of misogyny and… boom, nanomachines.

  5. Archangel says:

    Isn’t Metal Gear Solid just “Anime Splinter Cell: Cutscene”, but for eleven-year-olds? I’m not trying to be facile; I just never saw the appeal of the series what with so many superior (PC) games of its ilk (or movies, I guess) available throughout gaming history.

    • Viroso says:

      Man, MGS came before Splinter Cell and Metal Gear, no solid, was released in 87.

      Also, MGS games have the type of emergent gameplay you don’t often find in a lot of games. IMO, it takes a genre that’s inherently boring, stealth, and makes it interesting. The MGS games get what makes stealth so good. They’re worthwhile games.

    • ThomasHL says:

      Splinter has never had themes so sophisticated nor moments so immature. Metal Gear Solid has it beaten coming and going.

      Also as the above comment points out, Splinter Cell was imitating Metal Gear Solid, not the other way round, Metal Gear can legitimately claim to have invented the stealth genre. And as far as creativity and imagination and inventiveness and emergent possibilties… Splinter Cell is cardboard to Metal Gear. Splinter Cell is a game that gets created by a committee and never manages to do anything daring and so the best you can say is that it has never failed. If compared to MGS, Splinter Cell would be homogenised mass-manufactured blockbusters.

      Just think for a second about all the Metal Gear Solid stories people tell each other. The time you could beat a villain by waiting until he dies of old age. Or you could have a deadly sniper battle over multiple maps trying to track his footprints and sneak up on him without exposing yourself to any of the many many sniping points he might have set himself up in. Or you can chase him and avoid all his attempts to shake you off until he collapses with exhaustion. Or you can tranquilise the parrot he uses to spot with and eat it.

      And that’s just _one_ boss battle in one of the games. There’s the guy who keeps running away and you have to track him down, until eventually he runs away and his _inside the tutorial mission_.

      There’s the boss you can challenge to a mexican standoff whilst tumbleweed blows past, or chip away at him between boulders.

      There’s the fight with a angry flamethrower wielding boss through long cold dark hallways, only illuminated by his fire as you sneak around hoping that he won’t catch you, pop-up get a shot off and run away again.

      When have you ever heard someone tell a Splinter Cell story like that? I’m not trying to be facile, but Splinter Cell is nothing.

      • drygear says:

        The idea that between MGS and Splinter Cell that MGS would be the one for 11 year olds is ridiculous.

        Metal Gear Solid has you sneaking into a thinly disguised version of Gitmo to rescue your friends, and you get a higher score for rescuing any other prisoners you come across.

        Splinter Cell has the great American hero Sam Shepard sneak into Gitmo to torture a prisoner.

        I think that says all you need to know.

        • Crimsoneer says:

          Well, you probably need to know a little more than that. Like that there’s probably giant robot involved somehow, and how your friend has been sexually assaulted to fit a vagina bomb, and how there’s an actual “I-got-my-face-burnt-in-a-chemical-accident” nefarious super-villain. Oh, and there are cyborg ninjas and you can airlift sheep.

          Don’t get me wrong, I think MGS is a wonderful, worthwhile game with great emergent behaviour, but the themes are hardly adult all the time. Both games aren’t exactly deep.

          • Philomelle says:

            The fact that you consider PAZ to be Snake’s friend tells volumes about how much you actually know about her and her story arc, let alone about the depth of the series’ plot.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Replacing the word “friend” with some other relation in that description doesn’t exactly change the eleven-year-old–ness of it.

          • Hanban says:

            I’ve been in love with MGS since it came out on the playstation and have been playing the games religiously since then. But to be fair, the vagina bomb was really dumb. The games frequently dip into some awful stuff, but I love them despite of that. And sometimes because of that, as well.

          • Philomelle says:

            The vagina bomb was incredibly horrible even by MGS standards of horrible, though I don’t know whether I would call it dumb. I would sooner call it tasteless. It was very much in line with the rest of the series’ tendency to show how pointlessly horrible things get in wars, though the exact event was more eyebrow-raising than usual.

            The point of my post still remains. Describing PAZ as Snake’s friend is a complete and utter misfire when it comes to the story surrounding her, given that Miller had to coerce Snake to even consider rescuing her and would have failed if not for Chico having gotten captured as well. I’m really not sure how you can discuss or criticize a narrative when you don’t even know who is who in it.

          • Crimsoneer says:

            There is no possible narrative, in this universe or any of its infinite variations, that could justify the narrative use of a vagina-bomb.

            And yes, I feel off the MGS train after Snake Eater. Frankly, I feel the fact the story is so convoluted I need a wiki to figure out who the hell is meant to be who doesn’t exactly detract from my point.

          • Crimsoneer says:

            And for the record, I love MGS and it was one of the first games I grew utterly obcessed with, but it’s undeniably silly. I thought the themes were deep when I was 15, but it’s mostly about war and private military being quite bad and severed arms mind-controlling people. It’s not exactly Foucault.

          • Philomelle says:

            Again, this really isn’t about how much depth you believe there is in the game’s plot or not. As someone who grew up in former USSR, I personally appreciated Metal Gear Rising spending a good 20 minutes of codec conversations on the ridiculous bullshit that is relationships between Russia and CIS countries; a lot of is very spot-on.

            What I’m saying is that the moment you describe a final boss who spent the entire game trying to get the protagonist killed before finally giving up on subtlety and straight-up ramming him with a giant robot as his friend, you dismiss your credibility far as the topic is concerned. ‘_’

          • Philomelle says:

            That said, if you want my actual point, I mostly find it baffling how many people are eager to jump on a chance to discuss Metal Gear Solid and its plot despite not having played it and only having internet memes and whatever they’ve seen on social media to go by. It happens in every single article related to the game, to the point where discussion of what they imagine the game to be is more prevalent than the discussion of what the game actually is.

          • drygear says:

            Philomelle, I’m actually quite familiar with the game and its themes. I’m sorry my pithy one sentence summary didn’t cover the complexities of the character relationships established over two games. That particular choice of word has no bearing on my point and I would suggest that rather than speaking of my knowledge on the subject, your seizing upon that single word like some kind of slam dunk says you are missing the point.

            Crimsoneer, I’m not trying to say MGS is super deep and meaningful all the time or even most of the time. I doubt most of its fans think that. My point there was that trying to say that between it and Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell is the one for the 11 year old mindset and worldview. America is the best! Except it doesn’t do a good enough job of torturing its prisoners!
            Metal Gear is hit-and-miss, and sometimes it misses horribly and sometimes it knocks it out of the park. To me that is way more interesting than something that’s consistently above-average.
            I feel weird coming here and suddenly being its defender. I’m sure if I was on some kind of Playstation site and shared my opinion of Metal Gear Solid they’d call me a hater.

            I can’t blame you for losing interest after Snake Eater. That was the best one in the series, and Metal Gear Solid 4 was where Kojima’s writing was both at its worst and most intrusive.

        • joa says:

          It’s all for eleven-year olds. This is video games we are talking about.

      • Unclepauly says:

        Mechanically, SC:CT is tied with Thief 2 for the best stealth games ever made. There is no room for argument. Story on the other hand none of them are all that great but I’d go for thief and metal gear stories before SC. The Sam Fisher character is awesome though so I’ll put up with the story just to interact with Gruff McGruffington.

    • ThomasHL says:

      Although seriously, since is sounds like you’ve never checked them out, you should give the Metal Gear games a go. In a world where most games are just cautious iterations on other games, the MGS franchise is like no other. If you’re prepared to enjoy both the madness and the greatness at once, then they’re amazing.

      This is my pitch:

      Metal Gear Solid 4 starts with a monologue on how the privatisation of the military is altering the way we perceive war itself

      -and it ends with a 4-part fist fight on top of a battleship.

      • drygear says:

        I like it. I’d also include that the fistfight is between two old men. There’s a bunch of other great things about that part but saying too much would spoil things.
        Although if your goal is to get someone into the series, steering them toward 4 is a bad idea.

    • Philomelle says:

      My top 3 list of superior stealth games on PC is:

      1. Metal Gear Solid
      2. Mark of the Ninja
      3. Monaco

      Made sillier by the fact that Monaco very affectionately steals Metal Gear Solid’s entire gameplay loop, which is exactly what makes it work.

      I’m not talking about story here, I’m talking strictly about gameplay. If you can find me all these “many superior (PC) games” that feel at least half as complete and good as the Metal Gear Solid games, I would love to see them. I’m tired of breaking out my tired but stubborn PS2 every time I want to play a truly complex stealth game.

      • Unclepauly says:

        Thief 1,2, and 3 along with Chaos Theory, Dishonored, Hitman 2 and blood money, Chronicles of Riddick, Deus Ex…

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Although he didn’t explicitly state it, I’m gonna go off context here and assume he meant superior, complete stealth games. In which case Deus Ex is right out, because while it’s one of the finest games ever made, its stealth is really rather pants. Certainly leagues less compelling that the ones he mentioned.
          As for the others… eh. All three Thief games are terrific, the rest do passable stealth to varying degrees. I’ve gotta hand it to Philomelle here, if he hadn’t missed out the Thief series I’d be nodding in sagely approval right now.

          • drygear says:

            The first two Metal Gear Solid games weren’t that great as stealth games either though (they’re still good games). It’s not until the 3rd one that it deserves to be put in the same class as Thief.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      The only truly good Splinter Cell was Chaos Theory. The earlier ones were limited and tedious, and the later ones are linear and “streamlined,” with a torture superhero protagonist.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      The MGS games are great because they’re stupid, obvs.

  6. Viroso says:

    Remember that Kojima is practically a brand. His name gets plastered on the cover of games and he makes himself extremely visible. His games all had a very distinctive style and he’d occasionally even add referrences to himself in the games.

    Over the years, he’s made Metal Gear Solid synonym to his name and this has been a selling point for Konami.

    Erasing his name from MGS games might be a spiteful act or might just be how their marketing adapts. The way a lot of the press reports it, they make it sound Konami wants everyone to forget Kojima made those games, when it could very well be that they have to focus on the Metal Gear name, not on Kojima.

    • Caiman says:

      Yeah, this is standard business strategy if you ask me. They want to continue to produce MGS games, so the sooner they remove the association in the consumer’s minds that MGS = Kojima and replace it with MGS = Konami, the easier the next game will be to sell regardless of quality.

  7. Darth Gangrel says:

    Oh RPS, the only site where I can experience the joy of getting to read words like “hunky dory”.

    It would be a surprise if he left, but then again, Kojima has done a lot and might want to do other stuff than MGS games, like a movie. He so clearly wants to do a movie, packing his games full of cutscenes. He started doing so waaayyy before it was “cool” and had the buzzword cinematic attached to it.

    • Monggerel says:

      I sometimes get the feeling that RPS is actually an extremely elaborate and highly unconventional David Bowie tribute album.
      But only sometimes.

  8. Blad the impaler says:

    Next, Kojimo and Tomonobu Itagaki team up.
    We get bikini-clad magic-wielding ninja cyborg spies that spout philosophy between limb severing sessions.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      How much do I have to pay to see this happen? Seriously.

  9. PancreaticDefect says:

    They cant make Metal Gear games without Kojima. If I play a Metal Gear game and the story makes sense immediately…I’m out.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    Personally, I’m of the opinion that by the time you get to number five in a game series, it’s probably time to wrap it up.

    And no, Final Fantasy is not the exception, in my books. :)

    • Wedge says:

      But that series wasn’t even very good until the 6th one…

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        It’s pretty easy to make a case for 6 being the best in the series.
        It’s a lot harder to make a case for 5 being anything other than fantastic.

    • ThomasHL says:

      The Metal Gear Solid V is the 7th main series game in the franchise.

      Excluding spin-offs it goes:
      Metal Gear
      Metal Gear 2
      Metal Gear Solid 1-4
      Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker
      Metal Gear Solid V
      —————-
      Chronologically it’s even worse. It goes:
      Metal Gear Solid 3
      Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker
      Metal Gear Solid V
      Metal Gear
      Metal Gear 2
      Metal Gear Solid 1
      Metal Gear Solid 2
      Metal Gear Solid 4

      • drygear says:

        And that’s forgetting the Schrodinger’s cat that is Portable Ops’ canon status. I like how in Peace Walker they just kind of dismissed it with “let’s put all that behind us”

  11. kwyjibo says:

    Well, if Kojima does actually quit Metal Gear this time, here’s hoping that that the only thing the series loses is the “tell, don’t show” style of writing.

  12. Rikard Peterson says:

    Ok, so can anyone explain that sheep-balloon to someone who has never played MGS?

    • Eight Rooks says:

      The sheep specifically is new to The Phantom Pain, but a few of the games now have had the balloon. It’s an exaggerated, simplified version of the Fulton Recovery System – referred to by the same name, IIRC, but able to ferry multiple passengers very quickly in a short space of time, no regard for the physics of it, the logistics, etc.

      Peace Walker and I think the Portable Ops games had you able to knock out enemy soldiers, send them up on the balloon and press-gang them into working at your home base, going out on missions and so on. The Phantom Pain apparently wildly expands the scope of stuff you can send up (unconscious people, animals, inanimate objects), leading to all manner of pre-emptive internet giggle-fits about how they’re going to steal all of the livestock and fill their particular base with nothing but goats.

    • Philomelle says:

      To add to the above explanation – Hideo Kojima is one of those game designers who are 100% aware that as soon as they introduce a quirky game mechanic, people are going to use it for stupid shit. He plans for it as a result; back when MGS2 first allowed you to hold guards at gunpoint, he knew that people would mess around with aiming and added things like guards reacting to where on their bodies you aim (aiming at one’s crotch made them nervously shake their hips).

      This time, he decided to get that out of the way early and show off the kind of stupid shit you can do with the new gameplay mechanic at a press-conference.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Perfect example: link to youtube.com

        I missed this on the first playthrough of the game, so when it came up the second time I nearly shit my pants.