Hideo Kojima's departure from Konami is finally official, and the first game from his newly established Kojima productions will be exclusive to PlayStation 4.
The news initially broke in the Nikkei, Japan's leading business newspaper, but the article only indicated that, in his new venture, Kojima would focus on making games for consoles like those made by Sony Computer Entertainment. Given the relative anonymity of the Xbox brand in Japan, the generalisation was far from surprising.
The official existence of Kojima's new studio was confirmed in the first press release from Kojima Productions this morning, but there was still no mention of a deal with Sony. Only that the company would be, "focusing its efforts in developing products that will push the boundaries in innovation and ignite consumer interest worldwide.
However, according to Sony Computer Entertainment, the only consumers whose interests will be ignited will be those with a PlayStation 4 - and perhaps a PC, as the official language describes the deal as a "console exclusive" - for Kojima Productions' first game at least
"PlayStation's history is one of game innovation and great new franchises," said SCE president Andrew House in a statement. "Hideo Kojima has been a huge part of that history, and we are therefore delighted that he has chosen to bring his brand new project to life in partnership with PlayStation."
"I cannot wait to deliver, with PlayStation, a game that will become a compelling franchise"
Kojima's prominent role in the history of PlayStation cannot be disputed. Metal Gear Solid was one of the last third-party exclusives to make the transition to Xbox, with Metal Gear Solid V the first Kojima-led instalment to appear on a Microsoft console at launch. With that in mind, Sony Computer Entertainment reclaiming Kojima as an exclusive developer is a major win for a company that isn't short of them.
"I will be taking on a new challenge by establishing my own independent studio, and I am thrilled to be able to embark on this journey with PlayStation, who I have continued to work with all these past years," Kojima said. "I cannot wait to deliver, with PlayStation, a game that will become a compelling franchise."
This also brings to an end one of the more torturously drawn out stories of the year: Hideo Kojima's obvious rift with and split from Konami, a rumour given substance by unfortunate event after unfortunate event over more than six months. Even photos from Kojima's leaving party weren't enough to elicit an official confirmation from Konami, though the Japanese publisher did use its legal muscle to prevent him from picking up an award for Metal Gear Solid V - the biggest console hit published by Konami for quite some time.
Hideo Kojima was named in our People of the Year list for 2015. You can read the article here.
Update: Sony has confirmed that Kojima Productions' first game will be released for PC at some point following its debut on PlayStation 4. However, the official Q&A containing that information has since been deleted.
According to Polygon, the Q&A also indicated that Sony was not an investor in Kojima's new studio, meaning that Kojima Productions is very much an independent developer.