Rumour: Hideo Kojima Leaving Konami After MGS 5

Sometimes I’d swear that Ian Video Games is deliberately trying to ruin everyone’s fun. Just as we’re getting used to Metal Gear games settling on PC (not just Solid – we mustn’t forget Platinum’s Rising), Big Mouth strikes again and starts spreading rumours of strife.

Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear creator and director, and other senior members of Metal Gear Solid devs Kojima Productions are at odds with owners and publishers Konami, Ian says, and will leave once MGS V: The Phantom Pain is done. So Ian says, anyway. Konami say all’s hunky-dory.

Whispers started spreading after Konami started distancing itself from the Kojima Productions name. They’ve recently stopped calling MGS V “A Hideo Kojima Game”, been removing the Kojima logo from MGS art and the website, seemingly renamed Kojima Productions Los Angeles to Konami Los Angeles Studio (this was a month ago), and created a new separate Twitter account specifically for Metal Gear Solid. Konami explained that away like this:

“As we have already announced, we are shifting our production structure to a headquarters-controlled system, in order to establish a steadfast operating base capable of responding to the rapid market changes that surround our digital entertainment business. Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima), will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.”

That’s weird, but companies rebrand things for daft reasons all the time, especially when odd ideas of corporate unity are involved. Then there’s what a supposed inside source has told GameSpot.

They say Kojima Productions have ‘fallen out’ with Konami, resulting in key folks like Hideo working more as contractors than employees now. They have restricted access to corporate Internet, e-mail, and phones too, the source claimed. They’ll also appear less in promotions for Phantom Pain.

“After we finish MGSV, Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami. They said their contract ends in December,” said GameSpot’s mystery source. “At a team meeting, Mr Kojima explained that team have to be one and make a good game for fans.”

That’s what Ian Video Games says, anyway. I’m still wary of him after that time he came round our Nettie’s for dinner and I had to send him back twice – twice! – to wash his hands after he swore blind he had. Your hands were bone dry, Ian, and so was the towel. Bone dry.

Of course, Hideo Kojima has said The Phantom Pain would his last Metal Gear Solid anyway, but he’s been saying that for yonks and kept coming back. What mysteries!

31 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Dorga says:

    Oh Ian, you can be such a party pooper…

    • Fnord73 says:

      Haha, Konami are a bunch of idiots. Means Kojima will walk away because of some zaibatsu bullshit. Their greatest genius and his staff.

  2. Barchester says:

    This time, I tend to believe Kojima when he says that this will be his last Metal Gear. I think the main narrative of the series, which started with the Virtuous Mission in 1964 and pretty effectively ending with Guns of the Patriots, will be concluded and filled in with The Phantom Pain. I doubt even Kojima can cram in more major plot points within that time frame.

    I do hope he’ll be on board on spin-off titles though. A Metal Gear without Kojima just isn’t the same.

  3. Morcane says:

    Glad to hear everything’s hunky-dory.

  4. Heliocentric says:

    2 was the last metal gear, when you finish it no part of it screams sequel. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed revengence and liked the idea of enjoying 4(the series best game is still the brilliant and surgically precise Gameboy Colour title).

    • Barchester says:

      That’s why they delved into the history of Big Boss, and made Snake Eater, which is my favourite game in the series.

    • Cash at Folsom says:

      Finally, somebody else recognizes that GBC game for the zenith that it was.

  5. Mara says:

    Leave “when MGS:V is finished” can be a far more vague statement than it initially appears though…
    We might be seeing half-sequels for several more years before that technically starts applying.
    I’m not saying Kojima isn’t on his way out, but I don’t expect Metal Gear to stop anytime soon.

    I wonder what he’ll do when he’s finally free…

  6. Kempston Wiggler says:

    I own a PC. Who’s Hideo Kojima?

    • Myrdinn says:

      I’m an EU citizen. Who’s Obama?

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      You know, the one selling a demo for 50€.

      • Barchester says:

        € 30. Let’s not exaggerate here. And a demo I spent more hours on than I did on a lot of AAA single player titles.

        • welverin says:

          Keep your ‘reality’ and ‘sense’ out of this!

          p.s. This past Sunday I decided to collect all of the patches (yes, it’s taken me far too long to getting around to play Ground Zeroes), and I spent four plus hours sneaking around systematically interrogating and killing every single guard. Oh, and I had to cheat and use a faq to find the patches because the only one the forty plus guards i interrogated told me about was one of the ones I found in my first play through.

          p.p.s. So, in two playt hroughs of that mission I’ve already spent more time playing this ‘demo’ than some full price AAA games that didn’t get rip for their length.

    • Immobile Piper says:

      PS2’s, they sell for cheap these days (have for a decade I guess). Get one. Then pirate Metal Gear Solid (lords know I’ll have trouble convincing you to pay for what is essentially a collector’s item nowadays). Then buy MGS 2 & 3, don’t sweat about the special editions, should be cheap.

      Oh but you don’t enjoy excessive, in-your-face narrative delivery in games? Disregard the above then.

      But to actually answer your question: he’s a dev that made some fairly well received games for consoles.

      • welverin says:

        Um, there’s no reason to pirate MGS the first, it’s common enough to still be dirt cheap.

        Just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s valuable, much less a collector’s item.

        Also, I’d suggest a PS3 for anyone interested in playing the series, everything but Portable Ops is playable on that.

        • Immobile Piper says:

          That wasn’t my experience while hunting it across online Europe, it’s certainly one of my pricier PS1 games, but fair enough.

    • Jenks says:

      He makes interactive movies for people who like bad, anime style convoluted plots. I’d steer clear.

    • RARARA says:

      Your intentional obtuseness would have been mildly funny if MGS 1 & 2 weren’t released on the PC as well.

    • Spacewalk says:

      The man in the box.

  7. EhexT says:

    The fact that Konami bothered to actually refute the rumors more or less confirms them. False Rumors are usually met with silence, while true ones…well, I think everybody remembers Bethesda claiming everything was fine Prey 2 land when the rumors that it was the opposite of fine started, just as an example.

    • Philomelle says:

      It would be very hard for them to refute anything after this tweet on Kojima’s personal account.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      If they’d refuted the rumours, it wouldn’t have confirmed them, because the two words mean opposite things, damn your eyes!

  8. Philomelle says:

    Hideo Kojima is tied to all their recent projects though. He helped with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, he’ll likely be consulted on Rising 2 and he’s directing both Phantom Pain and Silent Hills. Remove all that and Konami is down to Pro Evolution Soccer.

    Add the part where the rest of their major creative talent already left and I’m not sure there will even be a Konami after this. They’re going to become the Japanese version of Atari.

  9. Monggerel says:

    So maybe they’ll finally get someone who knows how to fucking write heyoo

    Not that I don’t like Metal Gear. I just don’t like the parts that Kojima came up with. Gameplay’s generally pretty dang-ass solid.
    *snicker*
    *Solid Snake*
    *ahahahahaha*

    • Barchester says:

      But for most people, that’s what Metal Gear is all about. Kojima’s quirks, his writing, all the daft stuff in there. Take that out and it wouldn’t be Metal Gear anymore.

      For all the solid gameplay, Metal Gear isn’t the same without slipping on bird poo or being peed on, or recruiting Hideo himself, or mailing fissions or having to ascend a ladder for minutes, or creating a time paradox killing Ocelot. That’s what Metal Gear is. That’s all Kojima and for me that’s the heart and soul of it. Take that out and it’s just Splinter Cell. Or Hitman. Or whatever. It’s like remaking Back to the Future and taking the time travel out of it.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Amen.

        Having said that, I’m 100% cool with this being the last MGS. (Or, more likely, just the last one Kojima works on, after which point I’ll just PRETEND its the last one) What I’m really interested in is what he’ll do next. I’d love to think this could be the beginning of an entirely new, unrelated series with the same brand of total batshit insanity.

      • draglikepull says:

        It’s too bad that what Metal Gear Solid is primarily known for is the verbose dialogue and occasionally incomprehensible plots, rather than for revolutionising AI in action games. I don’t think people remember how bad the AI was in most action games before the first MGS game came out. That’s the one thing that the MGS games have always got right that other stealth games don’t – the fun part is the cat & mouse with guards, not standing around in a dark alcove waiting.

      • drygear says:

        As far as the writing goes, there’s a lot of good stuff but it’s sometimes buried under too many words. Maybe that’s down to the localization though? Revengeance’s writing is a lot sharper, and I wonder how much of that is from having different writers versus using one of the best localization teams (the same one that did Nier).