It began yesterday when observant fans noticed a Hideo Kojima’s absence from a new list of executive directors. Digging further, unremarked change on the official websites for Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain became apparent— the Kojima Productions logo had been silently removed from official materials. A quick check to the Kojima Productions website saw the page redirect to Konami, which in its latest post announced a new Twitter feed for MGS 5 announcements. When questioned, Konami (initially) only had this brief statement to make, “Konami Digital Entertainment, including Mr. Kojima, will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.”
Now Gamespot have revealed, in an interview with an inside source at Konami, that there’s been a series of power struggles over the title and Konami has decided to circle the wagons, bringing MGS 5 closer under Konami’s direct control and removing Kojima from the executive board, retaining Kojima Production’s management as contractors until MGS 5 completion, at which point they are expected to disband.
Kojima and several others have, apparently, also had their official corporate communications restricted, and will likely not be attending any official events to promote what Kojima has said will be the last in the series.
After the initial brief response, Konami expanded their statement to say, quote, “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.”
It’s… well, considering Metal Gear Solid is so intrinsically intertwined with our understanding of Kojima as a game designer and creator, the idea that he won’t be on hand to promote it seems like a drastic measure. We’ll update the story as it develops.