Kojima Productions, the studio behind Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, P.T. and the cancelled Silent Hills project, is no more.
That’s according to voice actor Akio Otsuka, who provides the Japanese language voice of Solid Snake in the Metal Gear series. The exact word that Otsuka used to describe the current state of Kojima Productions was “dissolved”, in a comment made on Twitter.
コジプロは解散させられてしまったが、チームの奮闘により作品はどうやらほぼ完成となった。掛け値なしに最高の傑作となった筈！早く「待たせたな」と言いたくて仕方ない(笑)これが最期になったとしとも…MGS は 不滅 です！ コジプ… http://t.co/9zeTNDpNxp
— 大塚 明夫 (@AkioOtsuka) July 10, 2015
When translated, his tweet appears to confirm one of the worst kept secrets in the video games industry: that the relationship between Konami and Hideo Kojima has soured, which has ultimately resulted in Kojima Productions being shut down. The relationship between the Metal Gear creator and Konami has been a point of debate for a while now, but this is the first instance where anyone on the inside has acknowledged it.
Earlier in the year Konami withdrew the playable demo of Silent Hills, and eventually cancelled it altogether. This was followed by Kojima being removed from Konami’s executive team along with the Kojima Productions logo and brand being removed from all Metal Gear promotional materials. Konami then announced their decision to switch focus to mobile devlopment, stating that the company’s “main platform” would be mobile devices from now on. Considering the enormity and complexity of Kojima Productions games, it’s perhaps not a huge surprise that their traditional output didn’t fit in line with Konami’s new vision.
Despite this, both Konami and Kojima have been rather coy about being forthcoming on the whole affair. Konami released an official statement saying that Kojima would continue working with the publisher through the launch of Metal Gear Solid V, and confirmed that the series would continue into the future – but with a new director.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is still slated for a worldwide release on September 1st on PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One and September 15th for PC, but it is definitely the last Metal Gear game Hideo Kojima and his team will be a part of. Kojima stated ““With Metal Gear Solid V, I’m finally closing the loop on that saga. In that sense, this will be the final Metal Gear Solid. Even if the Metal Gear franchise continues, to me, this is the last Metal Gear.”
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is due to be released on September 1 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, with a Windows version being released slightly later on Spetember 15.