Fox Engine Director Has Left Konami, Reports Claim

Julien Merceron was responsible for overseeing the tech underpinning MGS5 and PES 2016.

122 Comments

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Konami's worldwide technology director in charge of overseeing the creation of the Fox Engine has left the company, according to reports from Gameblog and IGN.

Julien Merceron joined Konami in October 2013, following a four-year spell at Crystal Dynamics and its publisher Square Enix.

Under Merceron's watch, Konami developed Fox Engine in-house, and has gone to use it for the development of recently released titles including Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, and PES 2016.

The circumstances surrounding Merceron's departure are not clear. It is not uncommon for employees to leave game companies following the shipping of big projects. GameSpot has contacted Konami for a statement on the matter.

In May 2015, Konami president Hideki Hayakawa said the company will "pursue mobile games aggressively" going forward, and that smartphones will be considered as its "main platform."

"Our main platforms will be mobiles," he began. "Gaming has spread to a number of platforms, but at the end of the day, the platform that is always closest to us, is mobile. Mobile is where the future of gaming lies.

"With multiplatform games, there's really no point in dividing the market into categories anymore. Mobiles will take on the new role of linking the general public to the gaming world."

Amidst discussion this was a clear sign of the publisher backing away from the console gaming, Konami released a statement it was interested in producing content for all the platforms available to it.

"Konami will continue to embrace the challenge of creating entertainment content via different platforms," it said. "Not only mobile platforms, but for home consoles, arcade units, and cards, to meet the changing needs of the times."

Discussing the organisational changes, Hayakawa said the company has adopted a "centralised production division system," which was implemented to make it easier to react to changes in the market.

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Avatar image for urbanman2004
urbanman2004

Konami will never learn

Avatar image for nini200
nini200

Is it me or does this dev look like he could play a new Skywalker offspring in Star Wars?

Avatar image for InYourMouf
InYourMouf

"Mobile would make us more money" is what they should have said. Cut the "future of games" bullshit.

Avatar image for Guimengo1
Guimengo1

This better not be the death of Pro Evolution Soccer. Only thing worse than not having any decent volleyball game is not having proper soccer games.

Avatar image for Trev786
Trev786

"We are focusing on mobile"
My translation: "We're not making games for you anymore."

Avatar image for yixingtpot
yixingtpot

mobile gaming= Kim Kuntdashiawhore fans, Beyontay fans etc, gaming is over if that's the case, let it die. If great original console gaming dies because of mobile selfie whores, then it was a nice run Japan, America killed gaming.

Avatar image for Ih8uguys
Ih8uguys

Mobile master race.

Avatar image for gba1989
gba1989

Will the FOX engine be in the mobile platform? It would be cool but what about the other platforms. It's where gaming lies.

Avatar image for Scarf0
Scarf0

I hope Sony or some other wealthy 3rd party developer will purchase the rights to Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill. It saddens me greatly, these great IPs will go to waste.

Avatar image for beowulf1211
beowulf1211

@Scarf0 said:

I hope Sony or some other wealthy 3rd party developer will purchase the rights to Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill. It saddens me greatly, these great IPs will go to waste.

wouldn't help....without Kojima....these IPs are already dead regardless of who makes it. Only exception is if FromSoftware purchases Silent Hill and Miyazaki directs it. Epic.

Avatar image for ilovelctr
ilovelctr

@beowulf1211 said:
@Scarf0 said:

I hope Sony or some other wealthy 3rd party developer will purchase the rights to Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill. It saddens me greatly, these great IPs will go to waste.

wouldn't help....without Kojima....these IPs are already dead regardless of who makes it. Only exception is if FromSoftware purchases Silent Hill and Miyazaki directs it. Epic.

I partly concur on this opinion, since I believe the best place of belonging for Silent Hill is a Japanese dev's hand. This series has been messed up during the time when western devs took care of it.

Avatar image for Scarf0
Scarf0

@ilovelctr: agreed! The PT demo was (still is) downright glorious! It had everything I could had ever hoped an new Silent Hill game could possibly become! That's why I'm hoping Konami sales the IP to Sony for there could be a chance Kojima & Del Toro could work on it again. Now as for Kojima, I have a feeling he will end up at either Naughty Dog or Rockstar. (I'm leaning towards Naughty Dog because Kojima has been repeatedly showing up at Naughty Dog studios last year. It's just an assumption of mine, but it would be awesome if proven true.

Avatar image for ilovelctr
ilovelctr

@Scarf0: That's great to know! I'd also love to see Kojima end up in joining Naughty Dog, because the meticulous flavours they've been managing so far in their productions must agree to Kojima's taste. Yes yes, it'd be awesome for Sony to buy Silent Hill. I heard elsewhere that Tencent in China is approaching Kojima too, which I hope isn't true..., or even if it is, hopefully Tencent will not prevail, for the good of gamers. I just can't imagine Kojima's talent wasted in some MMOs.

Avatar image for aeon44
aeon44

Mobile gaming is the future? lol.

I guess everyone can just download their apps for free or their paid apps since it's easy to jailbreak phones and tablets nowadays.

I'll wait for that day when they start apologizing to their former fans for going with mobile as their primary system.

Avatar image for naviney
naviney

Looks like Konami knows his business very well, first kick out kojima (i wonder why? micro transactions…, rush for money?) then lose merceron, way to go Konami!

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Chronologo

Soon Konami will be doing bussiness in asia only, they're diggin their grave. Who outside of japan is interested in pachinkos? Mobile games maybe but they're crap.

Avatar image for factory_666
factory_666

@Chronologo: Nic Cage likes pachinkos.

Avatar image for Ninives
Ninives

Konami is the only bad thing in Metal Gear lol!

Avatar image for BradBurns
BradBurns

Julien Merceron probably found cameras installed inside the toilets of the Konami development office restrooms and thought "enough is enough, I'm out".

Avatar image for homestar99
homestar99

#FucKonami

Avatar image for louie_cloud
louie_cloud

Damnit I was looking forward to their pachinko machine powered by Fox Engine

Avatar image for teddyle16
teddyle16

Just rip off the bandage and get it over with already. We all know Kojima and his team will leave and Konami will choke on their money. Why prolong the agony?

Avatar image for vexxouds
vexxouds

Sad Konami what are you doing to your workers to make them leave?

Avatar image for jetro290
Jetro290

Enough with Konami, all I am interested now is where Kojima San is going to go and what he will be doing next now that MGS V is done.

Avatar image for spikepigeo
spikepigeo

"Mobile is where the future of gaming lies."

Mobile is where the money lies.

FTFY. Huge difference.

Avatar image for BradBurns
BradBurns

A new Silent Hill made in Japan would be a nice use for the Fox Engine.

Avatar image for aeluron1989
Aeluron1989

I'm just more sad that the Fox Engine won't get utilized more fairly.

Avatar image for BovineDivine
BovineDivine

@aeluron1989: Hopefully they will license it out so that other studios can make great things with it. How much did that engine cost Konami to develop in house? And now they are putting their chips in the mobile market. We will see the fox engine used by other studios under license, Konami can't be that stupid.

Avatar image for naviney
naviney

@BovineDivine: Hmm… you sure?

Avatar image for louixiii
LouiXIII

Now that Kojima's gone, I don't care what Konami does. They can make Xbox Kinect games for all I care lol With no Kojima, that place is a shadow of what it used to be

Avatar image for vexxouds
vexxouds

@louixiii: Tell they ass!

Avatar image for louixiii
LouiXIII

@vexxouds: You know it. I sent you a message bro. I hear the movie might still be made but if you still want to do the petition just let me know

Avatar image for Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

What exactly did he do for the Fox engine? I thought the engine was already completed by the time he was hired in October 2013

Avatar image for Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

@Mr_Big_Boss: I'm guessing he led a team to modify the Fox engine in order to make the Fox engine more compatible with American game developers. Maybe this plan failed, thus, he left.

Avatar image for Pelezinho777
Pelezinho777

@Mr_Big_Boss: me too. Tech demo was released in 2011.

Avatar image for Suaron_x
Suaron_x

Do all these corporate CEOs smoke the same weed? Mobile gaming is not the future. People are not going to abandon consoles/computers and only play mobile games. TV manufacturers may supplant MS/Sony as gaming platform providers, but there will still be a huge demand for AAA games on a big screen.

It makes sense to have a presence in the mobile gaming market, but to make it the sole focus of a large company like Konami is insane. Games like MSG5 draw interest in other games (on various platforms) made/published by Konami. Without that AAA attention Konami's basically just another nameless fish in the mobile sea. I guess they'll have to revert to using big melon's to sell games (like Game of War).

Avatar image for naviney
naviney

@Suaron_x: Yes and no, sure a lot of real gamers will stick to their consoles/pc but you'd be surprised how many casual gamers who play on mobile spend almost half a year salary in micro transactions (one of my old school friend girl spend like mad on candy crush saga… worst part of this, she's happy... ), so in the end what he said is half right, except: the future of gaming is for the casuals and immatures.

Avatar image for ender707
ender707

@Suaron_x: First, the Game of War commercials are some of the best advertising I have ever seen. Second, Konami already uses big melons to sell games, they would not be reverting to anything. See: A character named Quiet.

Avatar image for davidsworld3
davidsworld3

@ender707: Would you want to see quiet on a cell phone only though?

Avatar image for deathblow3
deathblow3

@Suaron_x: the problem is mobile games can make more because how cheap there are to make.

Avatar image for Sevenstorms
Sevenstorms

Mobile games suck !!! I WILL NEVER GIVE in to cheap mobile games over console games !!!!

Avatar image for RicanV
RicanV

No issues with Konami. They made their path clear. My concern is other companies following suit and this essentially means the death of some franchises as core gaming is concerned.

Mobile gaming can be highly profitable with minimal costs. It's hard not to want to switch to that model.

Moderator
Avatar image for 40mdf0
40mdf0

@RicanV: I want to play good games, not cheap mobile cash ins. Its as if the entire industry wants to go down this suicidal route.

Avatar image for deusvex
DeusVex

He looks just like that guy who played in that one movie. Y'all know which one i'm talking about?

Avatar image for eloguvna
Eloguvna

From a company like Konami, I'd say he made a good choice here, and I don't think he'd have difficulty in finding a new job with his accomplishments. I wish you good luck in your ventures Julien Merceron!

Avatar image for Creed02
Creed02

Well , that now he doesnt have kijima production to develope highly successful game in this tough competition , its better to pursue some where else ,

Avatar image for spikepigeo
spikepigeo

Well he certainly wrote his code better than the writers wrote their characters and story...