Kojima Expected to Leave Konami After MGS5, Inside Source Confirms

Key devs could leave before 2016; Senior staff become contractors; Communications block in effect.


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
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A fallout between Kojima Productions and its publisher, Konami, has led to senior staff at the studio given restricted access to corporate internet, emails, and phone calls, GameSpot understands.

Along with the restricted communications, key developers at the studio, such as Hideo Kojima, will now have limited opportunities to lend their appearance to promotions of the studio’s upcoming game, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.

Power struggles between Kojima Productions and Konami have convinced the publisher to make drastic changes, including amending the employee status of its Metal Gear team. Some senior staff at the studio, including Kojima, now essentially work as contractors, not permanent employees.

The extraordinary measures were revealed by a source within Konami, speaking to GameSpot on the condition of anonymity. The person explained that, once the Phantom Pain project is finished, in all likelihood the management at the studio will disband.

"After we finish MGSV, Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami. They said their contract ends in December," the source claimed.

The person added: "At a team meeting, Mr Kojima explained that team have to be one and make a good game for fans."

Kojima, now 51, joined Konami in 1986. His departure from the company will bring an end to nearly three decades of service.

In other developments, Konami has begun erasing the Kojima Productions logo from all official Metal Gear art, and it has demoted Kojima off its executive team. Meanwhile, Kojima Productions’ branding has also been removed from Twitter, the official Metal Gear website, and even the LA office listing.

Representatives for Konami would not discuss specifics of the matter when contacted by GameSpot. The corporation has offered a statement, however.

It reads: "Konami Digital Entertainment, including Mr. Kojima, will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements."

The corporation's central public relations team, based in Tokyo, is unavailable at the time of going to press, due to it being past midnight local time.

Metal Gear Solid 5, Kojima’s latest iteration in the famed series, ships in September on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

An expanded statement from Konami follows: "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."

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Avatar image for Rashkavar

One pertinent question: Who owns the Metal Gear IP? Does the IP belong to Hideo Kojima, Kojima Productions, or Konami?

Probably Konami, unfortunately - given that Kojima Productions was until recently an employee devteam rather than external contractors, all of their work would be Konami's property. It's a shame things are ending this way, though, in fairness, MGS5 is pretty much putting the last nail in the coffin of the MGS saga. From the original MG games and MGS, we've pushed forward enough with MGS2 and 4 that we've not only introduced an ultimate antagonist for the series, but we've also eliminated them. And we killed Big Boss and Liquid again for good measure :p. MGS3 gave us the origins of both said antagonist and told us Big Boss's story, while Peace Walker gave us a bit more. Given where Phantom Pain falls on the timeline, it'd be a massive writing failure for it not to document Big Boss's transition from a fairly decent mercenary (Peacewalker era) to the megalomaniac we saw in the old Metal Gear games. Where do you go next? Either you trump up some insane ninja bs about...oh wait, they did that. Or you start making games about some of the minor missions that...oh wait, they did that too. Several times. Or you can go back to World War 2 and show us Cobra Unit as the good guys, but there's really no reason to go there.

Avatar image for idea999

Kojima should join Square Enix after parting with what's their name.

Avatar image for nyran125tk

and as i left COD when the real Infinity Ward left (ive hated the series since MW2, I can feel the difference, I dont know about you) , I will most likely leave this when Kojima steps down.

Avatar image for GunEye

Only for Kojima.

[url=<< LINK REMOVED >>][img]<< LINK REMOVED >>[/img][/url][url=<< LINK REMOVED >>]via Imgflip Meme Maker[/url]

Avatar image for blackothh

Oh yay another game publisher, screwing over a game dev, Sounds like Konami needs new management, I wonder what all this is over. I wish we could shift away from publishers.

Avatar image for bradsetzer

It's just a dam shame that he is apparently leaving. And if Konami does take Kojima's name off of Metal Gear, I'm sorry but that's just plain bull sh*t. He did the work. He MUST receive credit for it. That's just proper legal procedure in copyright/trademark and crediting the creator. I was looking forward to Metal Gear and Silent Hills. If they truly do remove his name from those two works, I likely won't be purchasing them. Konami doesn't deserve the financial support when they pull that BS.

Of course, I view all of this as if Konami is firing Kojima. If Kojima is just leaving, then fine. But I still think he should be credited for the work he has already completed...

Avatar image for wing821

**** you KONAMI, you've ruined the only hope of rescuing Silent Hill

It could have made you hell lot of money from this series, just a reminder.

Avatar image for Grampy_Bone

He was probably sick of making metal gear games and wanted to put his team to work on Snatcher 2 or something.

Avatar image for phenomfawaz

Pretty much like what Capcom did to Keiji Inafune & Shinji Mikami, I suppose?

Avatar image for Bionic_

So what about Silent Hills?

Avatar image for 666Rich666

And Konami continues to swirl the drain. First Castlevania goes down hill, then they hand Silent Hill over to shitty dev teams after 4, and now this... Konami used to be one of my favorite game publishers from the NES-PS2 era... Now they're nothing but a shell of their former company. I was really looking forward to Silent Hills after the PT demo, but now it looks like the game will never see the light of day. Thanks Konami.

Avatar image for callsignalpha

RIP Silent Hills . I wish we could spend some more time together

Avatar image for sakaixx

Not looking good for silent hills fans

Avatar image for rota37

Konami = retards.

Avatar image for Xcalibur_basic

Well I guess Konami doesn't like money then. Kojima Productions should purchase the license and property when Konami goes out of business.

On a side note this sounds like MGS5 is going to have no support after it's release.

The plus side is that we hopefully get to see Kojima's talent elsewhere. By the way, who is doing the Silent Hills after Kojima's staff leaves?

Avatar image for Master_Of_Fools

R.I.P Metal Gear Solid.

Avatar image for saturatedbutter

and another hashtag movement is born.

Avatar image for Fine_TableLamp

Well maybe he will join Rockstar now and make that GTA like game he wanted.

Avatar image for nikocaleffi

Hey gamespot, make a new article, konami is already hiring personnel for the development of a new Metal Gear series: << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for thespicychiken

<< LINK REMOVED >> They did a few hours ago

Avatar image for Get_Shorty

I look forward to future announcements

Avatar image for SpicaAntares


Expect some rain tomorrow and sunshine the day after.

Avatar image for sexyragu

I remember Kojima once tweeted that the game will include content that may get him removed from the industry. Perhaps Konami is letting him go because they don't want to be smeared by the backlash from critics?

Avatar image for zor3333l

Am i the only one who thinks good riddance ? Metal Gear went downhill after 3 and became too cheesy with lots of sexual references...etc.

Avatar image for idea999

<< LINK REMOVED >> I admit MGS3 may have been the best but I love the others that came after just as well

Avatar image for saturatedbutter

<< LINK REMOVED >> After 3? Metal Gear Solid 3 is full of sexual references. During some cutscenes you can hold a button to stare at a woman's breasts.

Avatar image for CrazyFury

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> So...it's an option to be a pervert or not. And that is the player's choice.

Avatar image for sexyragu

<< LINK REMOVED >> I think 3 was fine, but 4 absolutely SHI* on everything I liked about the series. That isn't to say it wasn't a good game, but it 'contradicted' what the other games were trying to achieve. I think the voice-acting and the extra content & Easter eggs is probably what makes it cheesy. People complain that it ruins immersion but obviously these are very young gamers who have never seen Easter eggs in games before. I didn't really catch the sexual references, unless you mean the sexualisation of the B&B corps in MGS4. I agree with you there.

Avatar image for nini200

<< LINK REMOVED >> No you aren't the only one

Avatar image for SpicaAntares


You're not the only one.

You know how kids are. Many need to believe in something and for some it consist of making a cult of Japanese culture, living and dreaming of that culture. So for some Japanese game creators are *stars*. What many fail to note is that a lot of that "Japanese culture", and MGS plots is a good example, is simply a copy of western culture mix together until the stew becomesindigestible.

Sexually let's not forget that a lot of Japanese sexual fantasies turn around sado-masochism or children with highly developed sexual features, some would be inclined to call pedophilic in its orientation.

Avatar image for k41m

<< LINK REMOVED >> Yes, you are the only one.

Avatar image for nini200

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Keep telling yourself that

Avatar image for coolguyhero

Kojima 51.Are you kidding? He looks like 30.

Avatar image for idea999

<< LINK REMOVED >> Lol IKR... He'll make 100 and still be making games

Avatar image for xwulfd

Its an April fools Setup, you guys never learn >_>