Rumors regarding Hideo Kojima’s departure from Konami after the launch of his upcoming game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain are receiving more substance as time passes, with a tweet from the games’ main protagonist’s Japanese voice actor apparently confirming that Kojima Productions have been disbanded.
Akio Otsuka is the original Japanese voice actor for MGS main character Snake has tweeted on Sunday in his native language the fact that Kojima Productions, the developer studio of the entire MGS series and a subsidiary of its publisher Konami, has already been disbanded, with series creator Hideo Kojima set to leave Konami after the game launches September 1st. The message was retweeted more than 10,000 times and states that even if this might mean the franchise’s end, it will remain immortal.
This just adds more fuel to the intense speculation building in the last couple of months regarding a split between Konami and the iconic game developer, ever since the Japanese publisher has removed most mentions of himself or Kojima productions from marketing, trailers or sites related to the game.
Kojima Productions’ Twitter account has also been suspended, as have weekly developer live streams it use hold. However, neither Konami nor Hideo Kojima have yet to comment on the situation, probably fearing negative impact of an open argument on the upcoming game.
This has left a lot of place for rumors and conspiracy theories, with some pointing towards an internal power struggle at Konami between its board and Kojima Productions. Others have not excluded the possibility of all this being a massive hoax meant to raise interest for the game, as Kojima is well known for using outlandish marketing tactics in the past.
MGS V: The Phantom Pain’s initial announcement is one such example. After announcing Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, which ultimately turned out to be more of a demo level for the upcoming game, Kojima anonymously announced a game called “The Phantom Pain” under a fictitious Swedish studio, which claimed it had no ties with the MGS series despite clearly using the same engine and characters. The charade continued for more than a week, and included live appearances by Kojima with his face fully bandaged (or substituted by an actor) and using an alias, until the game was finally unveiled at GDC 2013.
But this theory seems unlikely due to the cancellation of another highly expected project – a Silent Hill game made by Kojima in collaboration with famous director Guillermo del Torro and starring Norman Reedus. It might just be that this time it’s just the plain, obvious explanation of him leaving Konami – though with Kojima, I wouldn’t bet my house on it until an official announcement occurs.
Image Source: Game Revolution