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Konami ‘Resolved To Develop New Metal Gear Title’

by Mike Futter on Mar 20, 2015 at 07:25 AM

Update: Following over a day of confusion regarding Metal Gear Solid V, Hideo Kojima’s role at Konami, and the mysterious removal of his name from series box art, more information is available. The publisher and developer have released a joint statement to reassure fans.

The statement simply addresses Kojima’s role on the project, though it’s the first time a statement has been attributed to him.

To Customers,

Thank you for your continued patronage of KONAMI products and services.

The latest title in the METAL GEAR series,“METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN” (below, “MGSV: TPP”), will be released as planned starting on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 in North America, Latin America, and Europe, followed by Japan and Asia on Wednesday, September 2nd. Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout.

Hideo Kojima stated, "I want to reassure fans that I am 100% involved and will continue working on METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN; I’m determined to make it the greatest game I’ve directed to date. Don’t miss it!"

In addition, KONAMI will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the METAL GEAR series following “MGSV: TPP.” We greatly anticipate and deeply appreciate your ongoing support for METAL GEAR.

As the next step in the series, KONAMI has already resolved to develop new “METAL GEAR”.

We will be conducting interviews for main staff to lead the development.

Original story:

Earlier this month, Konami and Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima announced the release date for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. In the context of that announcement, Kojima repeated that this will be his last entry in the series, a sentiment we’ve heard from him numerous times.

“I always say this will be my last Metal Gear, but the games in the series I’ve personally designed and produced: Metal Gear on MSX, Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, 3, 4, and Peace Walker, and now Metal Gear Solid V are what constitute a single Metal Gear saga,” he said in a video statement. “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.”

Today, Konami issued a statement on the future of the Metal Gear franchise following the curious removal of Kojima’s name from box art images on the publisher’s website. The comment reaffirms the September 1 release date for The Phantom Pain and Kojima’s involvement “throughout” the remainder of the process.

“In addition, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the Metal Gear series following ‘MGSV: TPP,’” the company writes. We greatly anticipate and deeply appreciate your ongoing support for Metal Gear. As the next step in the series, KONAMI has already resolved to develop a new ‘Metal Gear’ title.”

The “audition” process is under way, it seems. Konami has posted a job listing for “New Metal Gear” staff. The company lists the following qualifications for the post:

  • Experience in high-end game development, planning, etc.
  • Boundless imagination, and the capacity for exciting new ideas
  • A strong passion toward game creation
  • The communication skills to effectively communicate your ideas 

Konami has yet to address questions regarding the removal of Kojima’s name from the Legacy of Metal Gear, Ground Zeroes, and The Phantom Pain box art. The publisher also declined to respond to our questions regarding Kojima’s status as a “content officer” of the corporation. 

[Source: Konami (1), (2) via Siliconera]


Our Take
While there might be temptation to draw a solid line between yesterday’s strange details and the news that Konami is hiring, we urge caution in leaping to conclusions beyond the facts. Here is what we do know:

  • Kojima has stated he is leaving the Metal Gear series behind. We’ve heard it before, but it seems to be true this time. For now. Kojima is the Brett Favre of gaming, after all.
  • Konami doesn’t have many established franchises left in its digital entertainment area, and losing Metal Gear would be a blow to that segment of the company (which is certainly not its only focus, as the company has interests in health and fitness, gambling, and more).
  • Today’s statement is likely in direct response to Internet furor (external forces) rather than a planned internal move. In other words, Konami’s hand was forced.
  • Other rumors are swirling about turmoil at Konami, but have yet to be verified by two independent sources.

We’re continuing to follow this story, vet details, and present facts as we know them. This story is unfolding (albeit quite strangely), and Konami’s silence on Kojima’s position with the corporation isn’t helping quell concern from fans. We’ll update as more information is available.