Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima will leave Konami following the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, according to a GameSpot “source within the studio.”
Kojima’s studio, Kojima Productions, and its owning publisher, Konami, had a fallout which led to senior staff at the studio being restricted access to corporate internet, e-mails, and phone, the report claims.
As a result, key developers like Hideo Kojima will now have limited opportunities to lend their names to the promotion of the September 1-due Metal Gear Solid V. This is evident by Konami’s removal of “A Hideo Kojima Game” from anything Metal Gear Solid-related, as well as the Kojima Productions name, earlier this morning.
GameSpot describes “power struggles” between Kojima Productions and Konami leading the publisher to make “drastic changes,” including the employee status of its Metal Gear team. Some of the studio’s senior staff “now essentially work as contractors” rather than permanent employees.
“After we finish Metal Gear Solid V, Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami,” GameSpot’s source said. “They said their contract ends in December.”
The source added: “At a team meeting, Mr Kojima explained that team have to be one and make a good game for fans.”
Following this morning’s story, Konami issued the following statement:
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.