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Konami Removes Hideo Kojima’s Name From Online Box Art

by Mike Futter on Mar 19, 2015 at 07:17 AM

Update: Konami here in the United States responded to our request for comment. Unfortunately, the publisher evaded many of our inquiries.

"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," the company said via email. "Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima), will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements."

When we submitted our initial inquiry, we inquired about Kojima's status as a Konami officer. We also inquired about the status of Kojima Productions as a studio and Kojima's role within it. No further information is available and the company referred us back to its statement above.

Original Story:

Konami has announced to investors from its Japanese headquarters earlier this month that it is restructuring its operations. While these changes are not uncommon, especially in response to changing market environments, the company has made a subtle but possibly significant adjustment to box art for the Metal Gear series.

On March 4, we received box art for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain that bears a familiar phrase, “A Hideo Kojima Game.” On Konami’s product listings, titles that once carried that verbiage have been altered to remove Kojima’s name.

We reached out to Konami in North America hours ago regarding this and have received no response. While we wait for our local arm of the company to provide some clarification on this change, the European arm has been responsive to outlets in that region.

Videogamer reports that Konami has provided a statement indicating that Kojima remains a part of Konami and actively involved in the series. Additionally, the publisher tells the site it is adjusting its approach, consolidating its development under the “Konami Digital Entertainment” name.

We’ll update should Konami here in North America respond to our inquiries.

[Source: Konami (1), (2), (3), Videogamer]


Our Take
Recently, Hideo Kojima announced that The Phantom Pain will be his final Metal Gear Solid title and that he sees the series as complete after this entry. If he is serious this time, Konami could simply be preparing for Metal Gear after Kojima by more closely tying its name to the brand.

For now, what we know is that his name has been removed and his employment for the time being is secure at Konami. With Kojima’s love for trolling, we’re not entirely sure he isn’t crying Sniper Wolf with this change.