Hideo Kojima and his company Kojima Productions are expected to part ways with Konami at the end of the year, according to several reports, with all of the Kojima branding being removed from the Metal Gear Solid website. Kojima Productions Los Angeles has also been renamed Konami Los Angeles Studio. It has also been confirmed that the Kojima Productions website now redirects to Konami’s Metal Gear Solid portal, where tags and branding for Kojima Productions have been removed.
According to GameSpot, there were a number of issues between Kojima Productions and Konami, and these issues ended up with the publisher changing the employment status of all the Metal Gear team, essentially making them contracted help instead of the permanent members that they had been to date. An anonymous source spoke to GameSpot, and told of what exactly will happen after Phantom Pain is released.
“After we finish MGSV, Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami. They said their contract ends in December. At a team meeting, Mr Kojima explained that team have to be one and make a good game for fans.”
@Kojima_Pro_Live, which was previously the official Twitter handle for the Metal Gear series, also sent out a tweet stating that they were no longer the official Twitter handle; @metalgear_en followed up with another tweet showing that they were now the official Twitter handle for the game franchise, both of which you can see below.
— Kojima Pro Live (@Kojima_Pro_Live) March 19, 2015
— METAL GEAR OFFICIAL (@metalgear_en) March 19, 2015
After the first signs of Kojima’s branding and logos were found to have been removed from the official Metal Gear Solid site, Konami released a brief statement about the possible future of the Metal Gear franchise, saying:
“Konami Digital Entertainment, including Mr. Kojima, will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.”
They eventually expanded, albeit slightly, upon this by saying that:
“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.”
Kojima is expected to part ways with Konami this coming December, and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is expected to be released on September 1 for PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox 360 & One and PC.