Sections

Hideo Kojima removed from Metal Gear marketing

[UPDATE] Fallout between Konami and Kojima Productions reportedly has developer departing after completion of Metal Gear Solid V

Hideo Kojima's name has been almost synonymous with the Metal Gear franchise for years, but Konami is trying to change that. In the wake of a restructuring, the publisher has taken a number of steps recently to downplay the developer's association with the franchise, as detailed by a number of posters on NeoGAF.

The first evidence that Kojima's role with the company has changed actually came earlier this month, when Konami revealed an organizational restructuring resulting in a host of new titles for those among its executive ranks. Of the seven content officers appointed in July of 2014, only two---Kojima and Shinichi Hanamoto--were left without a new executive appointment. (Hanamoto may have already left the company; he was appointed senior content officer last year, but one of the other content officers was given that title in November).

Beyond that, Konami also changed the official Metal Gear Solid Twitter account. Previously, it was @Kojima_Pro_Live, a reference to the Kojima Productions studio that creates the games. Earlier today, Konami announced the new official Metal Gear Twitter account is @metalgear_en. The Kojima Productions website also now forwards directly to Konami's Metal Gear portal site. Going further still, Konami has removed the tagline "A Hideo Kojima Game" from Metal Gear promotional art on the publisher's official site.

Despite the omission from Konami's executive ranks, Kojima is apparently still employed by the publisher. A Konami representative had not immediately responded to a GamesIndustry.biz request for comment, but sister site Eurogamer was given a short statement saying, "Konami Digital Entertainment, including Mr. Kojima, will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements."

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been announced for release September 1 of this year.

[UPDATE]: GameSpot has more on the situation, citing a source within Kojima Productions with the news that a rift has surfaced between studio management and Konami. According to the report, Kojima and other senior staff are essentially finishing up The Phantom Pain as contractors, and are expected to cut ties with Konami completely at the end of the year. Kojima and other development staff will only be given limited opportunities to help promote The Phantom Pain's launch, and have reportedly already had their access to corporate internet, emails, and phone restricted.

More stories

Konami is now making esports PCs

New Arespear brand of computers is manufactured by Konami Amusement, starts shipping in September

By James Batchelor

PES 2021 "pared back" as Konami focuses on Xbox Series X, PS5 version

UPDATE: Publisher confirms there will still be a release this year with an "affordably priced" season update

By James Batchelor

Latest comments (11)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
It feels weird seeing the creators behind huge IPs getting ousted or leaving from their company. Mikami from Capcom, Yuji Naka from Sega, and others. And now Kojima from Konami.

Very curious to see what he does next.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
"!" Oh, this is a big cardboard pickle, isn;t it?

Metal Gear without Kojima from this point on? Not likely to succeed with some hardcore fans if that oddball factor gets replaced with just another action game that gets slapped with the MGS title and has the basic gameplay elements wrapped into it.

That and the too generic statement
"Konami Digital Entertainment, including Mr. Kojima, will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements."
doesn't exactly build any confidence here those words will hold up in the future if things fall completely apart.

Eh, we'll see. I'm also looking forward to seeing what Kojima does next (besides take a long and well-needed vacation).
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tobias Burandt5 years ago
I doubt Konami is aware of how much the Metal Gear IP is associated with Hideo Kojima. A lot of die-hard Metal Gear fans worship Kojima like a Rockstar. I'm not one of these fans. Actually I think Bungie impressively demonstrated with Destiny, getting kicked out of your own IP isn't necessarily something bad. I'm curious if Kojima will start a new IP. With the rising chances for indie developer and the weight of his name, his ideas should easily find fertile soil
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (11)
Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
I doubt Konami is aware of how much the Metal Gear IP is associated with Hideo Kojima.
Really?
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Seb Downie Producer, Guerrilla Games5 years ago
Indeed. To us perhaps, as we can put names to faces and such, but to the public at large? Not many people would be able to tell you individual developer's names apart from perhaps Miyamoto-San.

Interesting situation regardless. I'd be surprised if we ever hear the full story.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
http://time.com/2862423/interview-hideo-kojima/

http://www.newsweek.com/hideo-kojima-148239

http://goo.gl/yTvRxM

and so forth and so on...

I'd say some outlets have tried hard to make Kojima more of a household name a few times over the years.

@ Adam: Really: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-03-20-konami-announces-plan-for-brand-new-metal-gear-solid-series

This should be interesting...
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
@Greg I seriously doubt 'Konami' are not aware of his influence and association with the series. I mean come on, he has completely run the show for MGS since inception and dominates their press and social media.

Considering this is one of Konami's biggest IP and the Kojima continually speaks of ending the series, I can't say I'm surprised they would look to create a new one with a new director.

Don't get me wrong, he's a household name for fans and well respected across the industry. I'm not convinced people would give up on more Metal Gear Solid, if it had good direction.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
@Adam: True... but it could be speculated that perhaps Konami doesn't want a superstar game director anymore and they think they can shift out a new MGS faster and the way they think it needs to be done. In other words:

" I mean come on, he has completely run the show for MGS since inception and dominates their press and social media."

Perhaps that could be the issue some higher ups at Konami have with Kojima. If I had to predict anything, it would be the return of David Hayter as Snake, which would immediately grant Konami some immunity amongst those who don't want to see a MGS game without Kojima's name on it. I know there are studios and teams who COULD do a decent enough MGS experience (PlatinumGames was my first thought as the ones to grab the gold ring), but it's going to be interesting to see how fans who expect MGS and Kojima to be joined at the hip react to whatever news comes down the road.

I'll say no more on this until Konami drops news just because I hate speculation in general (even my own!) and prefer hearing what's what as facts roll in.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
John Karageorgiou consultant 5 years ago
Something significant has transpired in order for Konami to make such a decisive call. All speculation until the facts are revealed, if ever. Thinking of the ND situation with the sudden departure of Amy Hennig from their team. To this day, it is still all speculation.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Matteo Sapio Marketing Director, Kadokawa Games5 years ago
Metal Gear Solid needs a serious reboot, hopefully Kojima will focus on the new Silent Hill.
p.s. Naka left Sega but still Sega distributes his games in Japan (Rodea)
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert5 years ago
Fresh wind in the Metal Gear franchise? Wouldn't hurt. Even if Kojima always tried to keep the "funny stuff" in Metal Gear, I personally liked the approach on the first Metal Gear Solid (yes I didn't play the first 2 Metal Gear games). There were some nice easter eggs but the game was 90% serious. Cardboard boxes were fun but Kojima pushed the fantasy part way too far in my opinion.
Some might say I should play Splinter Cell instead wich I do. But a more realistic MGS without the childish features would do the Franchise a big favor.

And yes I want David Hayter back. Not as an actor but for the story or the screen(game-)play. He proved himself with the screenplay for Watchmen (and X-men) how to make a more serious super-hero movie.

And Kojima should make the same thing, Hayter did- try his luck in the film buisness wich he always referrs to. Make Fantasy animation movies, or start writing something for the "big" screen.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.