TGS 2005: No more Metal Gear for Kojima?

Director reveals his plans to leave series after MGS 4: Guns of the Patriots; series illustrator also exiting.

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TOKYO--Director Hideo Kojima is retiring from the Metal Gear series...again. During an event at Konami's booth at the Tokyo Game Show today, the series' founder has once more announced his plans to explore other projects after the completion of the latest entry in the Metal Gear Solid series--in this case, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. He expressed similar sentiments following the completion of Metal Gear Solid 3, only to return.

"This fourth [Metal Gear Solid] is going to be the final one for me and Shinkawa," stated Kojima, revealing that the series' art designer, Youji Shinkawa, will be exiting with him. "There are other things that [we] want to create."

While Kojima may be ready to move on, the Metal Gear series has been the seasoned Konami director's life's work--so far. "I originally wanted to make movies and novels, but I just couldn't do it," revealed Kojima, who began development of the original Metal Gear for the MSX in 1987. "I was really hyped up about making Metal Gear, since it was going to be a game about war."

If there ever is a Kojima-free Metal Gear Solid 5, it won't be the first Metal Gear made without him. Kojima revealed that he originally didn't have any plans to create Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. However, he felt he had to after seeing the low quality of Snake's Revenge, an NES sequel he had no involvement in. "I decided to make the real sequel to Metal Gear," said Kojima, looking back to his early years in Konami.

Coincidentally, it was Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake that inspired Shinkawa to join Konami and to work under Kojima. And in 1998, Kojima's staff of 20 released Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation, which launched the multimillion-unit-selling franchsie.

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